A deep pocketed Japanese department store shelled out an eye-watering 300,000 yen ($2,500) Monday for a pair of mangoes, a record price for the second year in a row. After the hammer fell at an auction in far-southern Miyazaki, the successful bidder airlifted the fruit to its luxury shop in Fukuoka, where they went on sale at a bargain 210,000 yen, according to the Miyazaki Agricultural Economic Federation.
The mangoes — top-of-the-range “Taiyo no Tamago” (Egg of the Sun)-brand — were the first to go for auction this year, an occasion that usually attracts inflated prices. To qualify as a “Taiyo no Tamago” mango, each fruit must weigh at least 350 grams (12 oz) and have a high sugar content.
While $2,500 is steep for a pair of mangoes, fruit is routinely expensive in Japan and it is not unusual for a single apple to cost upwards of $3. This year’s must-have luxury fruit is a particular brand of strawberry, with a single berry currently selling for around $415. However, all pale in comparison with the tear-inducing $25,000 price tag for a pair of cantaloupe melons auctioned in 2008.
It is however believed that Nigeria should take a leaf from Japan and move the agricultural sector to such enviable hights through the speedy provisions of agricultural imputs to farmers, provision of irrigation facilities, engagement of agric extension workers and the making of sufficient loans available to farmers. This in turn will boost yield, and attract more youths into the sector as well as boost both export and revenues generated from the sector.