Local Rice Price Rise 73% in 12 Months – NBS

The cost of one kilogramme of local rice increased by 73.2% in just a single year due to rising production, transportation, and other expenses.

This occurred in spite of the Central Bank of Nigeria providing multibillion naira in funding to promote the country’s rice value chain, with the goal of increasing output and halting the importation of rice from abroad.

The cost of rice, an essential meal that is extensively consumed in Nigeria, has been rising even though it is produced nearby. Depending on the region of purchase, the product currently sells for between N55,000 and N60,000 for a 50kg bag.

The PUNCH analyzed data from the National Bureau of Statistics’ selected food prices watch report, which revealed that between November 2022 and November 2023, the average price of 1 kilogram of local produce increased by 73.2%, from N500.80 to N867.20.

The price of 1 kilogram of imported rice from abroad increased by 61.53 percent, from N704.13 to N1,137, during the same time period, according to the NBS.

Additionally, it was noted that local rice was sold for N1,122.42 in Lagos State, the highest price in spite of the 32-ton per hour Lagos Rice Mill in Imota, which produces the Eko Rice brand, and N688 in Kebbi State, the lowest price.

The PUNCH reports that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu bragged at the inauguration and other forums that the mill would deal with rice importation because it needed more than 240,000 tons of paddy annually to create 2.5 million 50kg bags of 50kg.

In an interview with our correspondent on Wednesday, Kabir Ibrahim, the national president of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, commented on the high cost of local rice. He attributed the high price to inflation and the resulting increased cost of production, adding that labor, logistics, and packaging costs also played a major role in the price increase.

However, Kabir challenged the NBS’s anticipated numbers, claiming that they were irrational and not grounded in the market.

He said, “The cost of production has always been very high due to various factors. Transportation is a factor and it became a very serious threat to pricing after the removal of the fuel subsidy. If you are buying a bowl of milled rice, the miller has to provide its own power, pay workers’ salaries and discount the cost of his machinery. He has to do packaging alongside transportation costs. so it’s definitely going to be costlier than imported rice that’s not edible in Thailand.

“Two, the farm gauge price is far different from the prices in the market and three markets stand out and should not be used as parameter for pricing. The price you get in Lagos, Abuja and Port-Harcourt, they are not good indices. There is already an apathy against imported rice because people have now realised the one with better quality and those countries selling it cheap are doing so just to get rid of it.

“However, I think a 70 per cent increase by the NBS is not realistic and too high. The bureau may be carrying out these information but I tell you the prices are bit cheaper than what is reported. If you go to real markets and ntoit artificial ones. to put things correctly, there is definitely food inflation and it is skyrocketing but if we go by these commodities, we are likely to be lying to our selves and the general public.”

“The past administration invested a lot in rice production and i think they should be applauded. We used to import rice to the tune of trillions but that has changed,” he added.

In a related development, it is anticipated that in 2024, the cost of staple commodities including rice, maize, millet, cereals, and others would rise in Nigeria and other West African nations.

This is stated in a report called “West Africa Regional Supply and Market Outlook,” which was released by the World Food Program, the Food and Agricultural Organization, and other organizations.

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