Rice prices skyrocket in Nigeria

ABUJA. – With rice consumption in Nigeria steadily rising, outgrowing local supply, there is now a supply gap of about 2 million tonnes annually, a new report says.

According to the AFEX Wet Season Crop Production Report for 2023, this has led to an over 37 per cent increase in the price of the commodity so far this year.

Some rice dealers in Nigeria say the price of the commodity fluctuates on a daily basis and is heavily impacting their business.

“I don’t have much rice because of the increase in price,” says one rice dealer. “Sometimes I do get customers from various hotels but now I have lost most of my customers because of the increase.”

Another dealer agrees, saying that the difference between now and this time last year is noticeable.

“Now there are no buyers, that is the problem we are having, customers are not coming like before,” says Abdul Idris. “This time last year, the bag was N28 000 but this year, it is N42 000 but people are complaining of the money.”

Some customers say they are now buying smaller quantities of rice due to the price hike.

“It is really affecting me – and not just me,” says Vera Abua, a customer. “Most Nigerians are complaining of the increase in the price of rice and now we don’t buy like we used to before.”

AFEX’s report says, “Rice consumption in Nigeria has been steadily increasing, aligning with the consistent growth of the rice market, nearly matching the annual population growth projection of 2.6 per cent at two per cent.”

The 37 percent year-to-date price increase is driven by reduced production in 2022 due to the effects of flooding during the wet season of that year.

Richard Ogundele, an Agric Business expert,says that Nigeria is currently not self-sufficient in rice production compared to when it was in 2015. – africanews.com

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