Abnormal rainfall affects vegetables in Lagos

 Farmers in Lagos have started experiencing the negative effect of little rainfall on the harvest of some vegetables, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
Visits to some markets showed that all is not well with the quality of vegetables like Green Amaranth (green), Nigerian pumpkin (Ugu), water leaf, Lagos spinach (Shokoyokoto) and Jute leaves (Ewedu).
While Green vegetable is not in the markets, others available cost more than what it used to be and they are not that fresh although they were harvested same day.
Some of the market women told NAN that Green vegetable was not in the market because it had been eaten by pest right on the farm.
One of the market women, Mrs Grace Oyebor, said that the problem they were experiencing now was that if they did not finish selling the vegetables they would start changing colour the next day.
``Vegetables are not as it used to be before. Once there is a left over from the previous day sales, you have incurred loss if you did not sell much to cover the amount you bought it.
``We buy costly from the farms now and we have to sell to cover the cost price,’’ she said.
Another trader, Madam Ekanem Akpan, said that Green vegetable was not in the market because they could not buy what the met on the farms.
``The Green had been eaten by 'Kokoro' that is pest right there on the farms.
``I was bought some vegetables early in May, but buyers were rejecting them and if it stayed till the following day, they will all turn yellow.
``But now you cannot even pick anything out of the green on the farms,’’ she said.
Another vegetable seller, Mrs Ugochi Nwuba, told NAN that the lack of rainfall had caused a big problem for vegetable farmers.
``The vegetables are not the way it used to be. Go round the markets, there is no green in the market.
``Right at the farm they were infected with pest.
``I managed to buy some but l ended up throwing them away.
``Perhaps there might be some changes in June, July, if the recent rainfall tempo is sustained,’’ she said.
A vegetable farmer in Ikorodu, Mr Segun Olayinka, said the rainfall has not been favourable as vegetables need water to grow very well.
``We planted as usual but the rain has not helped and we do know how pest attacked our farms.
``Green vegetable was badly affected and we have to uproot them,’’ he said.
Another farmer, Mr Chike Ugoji, said that the little or no rainfall was the cause.
``I cannot explain what happened but we are surprise to see massive pests attack on the vegetables, especially green.
``We know that vegetables thrive on water may be we did not put much but the hot weather did not help also,’’ he said.
Ugoji said that the problem affected most farms in the area and that they were trying to see how to solve it.
He said that there would be improvement once the rainfall becomes regular.
``It had not happened like this before and we have suffered huge losses but what do we do?
``We are hoping for the heavens to open and the land soften enough to drive away the pests,’’ he said.
Ugoji said that farmers were also seeking expert advice in case it was a problem rainfall alone would not solve


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