The high cost of food is set to be one of the major challenges Nigeria will be dealing with as the rate of food inflation keeps rising.
According to the latest report pf the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), food inflation rose to 22.95 per cent in March, a 1.16 per cent increase from February. The highest increases were recorded in meat, vegetables, fruits, fish, yam and oil.
The NBS recorded headline inflation at 18.17% in March 2021 from 17.33% in February 2021. Food inflation at 22.95% in March 2021 from 21.79% in Feb 2021. And core inflation at 12.67% in March 2021 from 12.38% in February 2021.
Food inflation started in August 2019 after President Muhammadu Buhari ordered that the country’s borders be shut. This led to sharp increase in food prices and a monthly inflation. By January food inflation was at 14.85 percent, the highest in two years. The border closure which lasted for 16 months was meant stop the smuggling of rice, and frozen chicken which comes into Nigeria through Benin Republic.
In 2018, the Nigerian government approved a 60bn Naira ($222m) subsidy for rice farmers. However, rice production continues to remain a challenge. Rising food prices are set to drive more Nigerians into poverty and have uncertain impacts on food security. Food and Agriculture Organization listed Nigeria as part of the 42 countries that needs external assistance for food.
The flood disaster in Kebbi State and other states across the country destroyed large hectares of crops. This further affected harvest in the country. The rising inflation in the country spells for harder times to come. With 43% of Nigeria’s population living below the poverty line, the inflation will make more people poor.
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