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Price of Local Rice Soar by Over 200%

by John Ojewale
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Rising domestic insecurity, import bans and other factors have pushed the price of a kilogram of domestic rice up by 201.52% over the past seven years. This was despite the Central Bank of Nigeria’s funding support in billions of naira for the country’s local rice value chain. The aim was to boost production and reduce prices.

According to data from the Selected Food Prices Watch Report of the National Bureau of Statistics, the average price of 1 kg of local rice increased from N172.74 in February 2016 to N520.84 in February 2023.

Despite these federal and CBN interventions and increased local rice production, prices of one of Nigerian most common food continues to overwhelm Nigerians.

The Rice Processors Association of Nigeria (RIPAN) Director-General, Andy Ekwelem has justified the increase in local rice prices. He blamed the rising inflation in the country, which has now reached 22.04% as of March 2023.

He said  –

“All of us are aware that in recent times, there has been a jump in inflation. We know the impact of inflation on the cost of goods.”

Furthermore, he argued that rice is the only product that has maintained stability in price amid the rising inflation.

Also, the Vice Chairman of RIPAN, Paul Eluhaiwe, stressed that inflation and insecurity contributed significantly to the rise in prices.

He said-

“Input prices for farmers have skyrocketed because of inflation … We know the cost of fertilizer when compared to what it is now.

“In addition to the price of inputs which farmers use for their production purpose, we also have a challenge in terms of the number of farmers returning to farms because of the security crisis.

“All these affect the prices of farmers’ outputs. That indirectly affects the cost of finished products because the farmers will not get the product at a reduced rate”.

Stakeholders in the agriculture sector linked the surge in the price to a shortage of supply to markets.

The National President of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Kabir Ibrahim, attributed the low supply to insecurity in food-producing states. As well as the dwindling value of the naira, as well as the poor implementation of the ABP.

Meanwhile, in 2015 the CBN prohibited the importation of rice. They also banned 41 other commodities from accessing foreign exchange through official windows to facilitate domestic production.

The federal government also banned cross-border rice imports and imposed a 70% tariff on goods imported through ports.

Despite consistent with these interventions, the price and production of local rice appear to have increased drastically.

CBN recently unveiled a pyramid of 13 Mega Rice in Abuja. It was said to contain more than one million bags of paddy.

At the unveiling ceremony of the pyramid, President Muhammadu Buhari (retd) announced that if the rice sacks were processed and delivered to the market, the price of rice would drop.

“I am aware that the bags of paddy will be moving straight from here to rice milling plants across Nigeria, which will lead to the release of processed rice to the markets by the rice millers. The measure will aid our efforts at reducing the price of rice in Nigeria”, Buhari said.

However, contrary to what the president has said, there has been no reduction in rice prices. However, there have been reported increases in production.



cc: Punch Ng

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