We are back again with another round of our monthly food news where we bring you up to speed with the latest happenings in the Nigerian food space.
From rising food prices to challenges faced during Eid festivities, Nigerians are experiencing the impact of inflation and exploring solutions for food security.
IN JUNE’S EDITION
- The Continuous Increase in Food Prices
- Eid Festivities Affected by Price Hikes for Nigerian Muslims
- Nigerians’ Preference for Imported Foods Sparks Concern among Experts
- Advancing Food Security: Norway’s $4.5m Initiative for Nigeria
- Tomato Price Skyrocketing Nationwide
The Continuous Increase in Food Prices
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has reported an increase in the prices of various food items in Nigeria, including tomatoes, beans, yams, onion bulbs, boneless beef, and vegetable oil. The table below shows the percentage increase according to the NBS Selected Food Prices Watch Report for April.
|Food Items||Size||Month-on-month Increase||Year-on-year Increase|
|Onion bulbs||1 bulb||
The report also highlighted variations in prices across different states and zones in Nigeria. The rising food prices indicate a growing concern for Nigerians. They are experiencing the impact of inflation on their daily expenses.
Eid Festivities Affected by Price Hikes for Nigerian Muslims
Some muslims in Nigeria are facing financial constraints during the Eid Al-Adha celebrations due to soaring food prices and increased transportation costs caused by inflation resulting from the removal of fuel subsidies by President Bola Tinubu in May. The removal of subsidies led to a significant increase in the price of petrol. This resulted in a surge in food prices and transportation expenses. Many Nigerian Muslims are unable to afford travel to visit family members or purchase traditional holiday foods. The decision to remove the subsidies has been criticized for its impact on citizens, with economists calling for the implementation of measures to mitigate the effects.
Nigerians’ Preference for Imported Foods Sparks Concern among Experts
The Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST), Western Chapter, has expressed concern about Nigerians’ preference for imported foreign foods instead of indigenous and organic options. This concern was highlighted in a communique issued at the end of the 2023 Regional Food Science and Technology Summit (ReFoSTS) held in Abeokuta, Ogun State. The summit, with the theme ‘Indigenous Foods for Global Markets: Innovation, Safety and Entrepreneurship’, acknowledged the potential for Nigeria’s indigenous foods to gain global recognition but stressed the importance of innovation for their survival.
The communique pointed out that the shift in eating patterns towards imported foods has been detrimental to the consumption of indigenous foods. Nonetheless, the experts recommended promoting the consumption of indigenous food commodities at the household level and developing an inventory of all indigenous foods in the country. They also called for adequate funding alongside modern tools for research institutions. This is to generate reliable data on the quality and safety of indigenous foods. Furthermore, the communique highlighted the need for standardization of processing procedures, quality characteristics, and safety indices for indigenous foods.
Moreover, The summit also emphasized the improvement of local markets’ infrastructure. This includes public toilets, access to clean water, and storage facilities. The involvement of all levels of government, as well as the ministries of agriculture and health, was deemed essential for strengthening indigenous food production, promotion, safety, and marketing.
Advancing Food Security: Norway’s $4.5m Initiative for Nigeria
The Norwegian Government has pledged an additional $4.5 million to support the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) humanitarian efforts in addressing the ongoing crisis in northeastern Nigeria. The FAO Representative in Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States, Fred Kafeero, made this announcement during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the FAO and the Norwegian government in Abuja. This new commitment brings Norway’s total support to $24 million since the beginning of the crisis, benefiting over 1.1 million conflict-affected individuals.
The FAO aims to reach two million people through its livelihood support programs in the food security sector. Currently, only 56,000 individuals have been reached. The additional funding will help bridge the gap in livelihood assistance for the 2023 lean season. It will also contribute to improving food security in the North-East region. The funding will be utilized in implementing an existing project that focuses on scaling up food security, nutrition, and sustainable livelihoods in Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, and Taraba states.
Tomato Price Skyrocketing Nationwide
Many Nigerians across the country are presently lamenting. There has been an abnormal rise in the price of tomatoes across major markets in the country. Findings revealed that the scarcity of the commodity has pushed the price high by nearly 100 percent. Consumers said the situation impacted negatively on them coupled with the high cost of living being faced by citizens.
In Kano State, one of the tomato farmers attributed the early rise in the price of the commodity to a recent pest attack, known as tomato ebola. Tomato ebola is a dangerous pest affecting the crop. As a result of the attack on big tomato farms and how it spread across other farms in the various farming areas in the state, the product became scarce in the market, which forced up its price. But experts said that aside from pest attacks, every year by this time, the commodity is usually scarce as a result of the end of season and hot weather. However, it is noted that the situation became worse this year due to the recent hike in fuel prices across the country.
We have come to the end of this month’s food news. See you same time next month for more food news.