Food costs have kept to rise despite FG’s stabilization strategy

    Food costs are still growing more quickly in Nigeria even after a state of emergency on food security was declared and immediate, short- and long-term agricultural strategies were unveiled in July.

    According to President Bola Tinubu, the government will increase food production and stop the country’s food costs from rising by putting the money saved from the elimination of gasoline subsidies into the food system.

    Three months later, prices are still rising and don’t seem to be stopping; in September, food inflation reached 30.64 percent.

    According to a BusinessDay poll conducted in a few chosen marketplaces in Lagos, the average cost of a 50 kg bag of locally produced parboiled rice increased from N40,000 to N47,000, or 17.5%, when the stabilization plan was announced.

    A 50kg bag of foreign parboiled rice used to sell for N50,000, but the average price has increased by 10% to N56,000.
    A large egg crate that was selling for an average of N2,300 in July is now selling for N2,600, a 13 percent price increase. The price of a medium-sized loaf of bread has increased by 33 percent from N900 to N1,200 since July.

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    Food costs
    food cost

    BusinessDay examined the National Bureau of Statistics’ (NBS) July and August food price data, which is the most recent, and discovered that most food items had seen a significant increase in price since the plan’s announcement and the emergency declaration.

    Local parboiled rice costs N738.74 on average, a 13.04 percent increase from N653.49 in July. In a same vein, the average cost of one kilogram of foreign parboiled rice went up from N869.77 in July to N957.47, a 10.08 percent rise.

    Vegetable oil costs N1,389.14 on average per bottle in August, up 1.76 percent from N1,365.17 in July when the announcement was made.
    Moreover, the average cost of palm oil rose from N1,208.62 in July to N1,238.56 in August, a 2.48 percent rise.

    In August, the average cost of one kilogram of white garri increased by 6.15 percent, from N429.89 in July to N456.32. Likewise, the mean cost of yellow garri saw a monthly rise of 5.33 percent, from N459.70 to N484.22.

    Furthermore, the average cost of one kilogram of sweet potatoes increased from N339.63 in July to N360.53 in August, a 6.15 percent increase.

    According to Rotimi Dairo, an expert at a consulting firm, “you aren’t sure of what it can buy these days because prices keep increasing daily.”

    “And this continues to be the primary cause of the nation’s inflation,” he stated, imploring the federal government to take concrete steps toward price stabilization.

    Releasing 500,000 hectares of farmland, including by removing forested areas, is one of the steps being taken to stabilize food prices. This is a temporary measure aimed at increasing the amount of acreage available to raise agricultural output.

    In the medium run, the National Commodities Board will be established to monitor food prices continuously, keep a strategic reserve, and control price fluctuations while the central bank keeps subsidizing the industry.

    The nation’s largest food-producing region, the north-central region, has recently experienced flooding, which has worsened the country’s already severe insecurity and curtailed farming activity. As a result, there are shortages of nearly all staple foods.

    Concerns over food security have increased as a result of the circumstance, and the nation now has high rates of hunger and malnutrition.

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