Dandume Local Government Area in Katsina State is a household name because of its large and popular market that deals with mostly agricultural produce ranging from grains, tubers, fruits and vegetables.
The area is mainly populated by peasant and large scale farmers who also deal in guinea corn, rice, beans, groundnut, soya beans, pepper as well as sweet potatoes and coco-yam.
The location of Dandume town provides easy access to the teeming merchants that flood the market every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.
Daily Trust learned that the commodities are mainly supplied by the peasant and large scale farmers from the nook and crannies of Dandume local government such as Faskari, Sabuwa in Katsina state, Birnin Gwari in Kaduna State and some parts of Zamfara State.
According to the ‘Sarkin Kasuwa’ of the market, Alhaji Balarabe Nalado Dandume, businessmen are going as far as Keffi in Nasarawa State, Saminaka, Soba in Kaduna State, and Bida and Kontagora in Niger State to buy and bring commodities to the market.
He added that merchants come in large numbers to buy assorted grains from the market from faraway places like Iddo, Agege, Maryland, Mile 12 in Lagos State, Ogbosho, Ibadan in Oyo State, while many others from Ekiti, Rivers, Abia, Anambra, Gombe and other states also patronise the market.
Investigations show that during the peak of harvesting period about three-hundred-and-sixty trucks of different sizes are loaded with approximately 8,400 tonnes of assorted grains to take to different parts of the country and abroad.
The prices of commodities in Dandume grains market depend on the harvest in the year and demands from companies and consumers. Soya beans, for example, that was not planted in huge quantity this year in Katsina State and its environs is anticipated to be in short supply between the months of May and October next year with the price of the commodity now around N10,000, compared to last year’s N6,000.
“The tradition is that the price normally falls during harvest period in the months of October to January and begins to rise thereafter. Guinea corn that is highly needed by breweries and biscuit companies now costs N4, 600 while the new one is yet to be harvested. As the new maize begins to flood markets, the price of the old one drops to N4,500 per bag while the new yellow one sells for N3,000 per bag and N2,800 for white hybrid one,” Alhaji Balarabe Nalado (Sarkin Kasuwa)
Similarly, price of a bag of processed rice ranges from N12,000 to N14,000, depending on its type and grade with its major buyers coming from Sokoto, Kebbi, Kano and Nasarawa states. A bag of unpeeled rice cost N4, 200, new groundnut bag costs N21, 000 while pepper’s is N11, 000.
Companies that are into yoghurt, biscuit, milk, animal feeds, edible oil production as well as breweries and cotton ginnery form the bulk of customers in the market. They send their agents every week to purchase tonnes of soya beans, maize and guinea corn.
One of the agents of such companies, Alhaji Abba Dandume, said among the companies that buy grains from them are AU Flour Mills, Benin that buys up to 100 trailers or 3,000 tonnes each of white hybrid maize per week; Ajalla Poultry Feeds (A subsidiary of WACOT) that buys about 500 trailers load equivalent to 15,000 tonnes of white and yellow maize per week; LINA Oil Ibadan, Oyo State buys about 150 trailers or 4,000 tonnes of soya beans per week; Greasely Nigeria limited Jos, Plateau state buys about 600 trailers load or 18,000 tonnes of soya beans and maize per week; Sunseed Nigera limited, Zaria in Kaduna State buys 100 trailers load or 3,000 tonnes of soya beans per week.