March 2024 Food News: PricePally’s Employee Food Discount Scheme and Rising Food Inflation Concerns 

March 2024 food news brings to light significant developments and challenges in Nigeria’s food industry. From the outbreak of a devastating ginger blight epidemic causing billions in losses for farmers to rising concerns over food inflation voiced by traders in Lagos, the month saw various impactful events. Imported food costs surged over the past four years, exacerbating inflation woes for Nigerians, while the launch of PricePally’s Employee Food Discount Scheme aims to provide relief amidst the turmoil. Keep reading to find out the key insights and trends that shaped the Nigerian food landscape in the March 2024 food news.

News stories featured in March 2024 food news: 

  • Ginger Disease Costs Abuja Farmers and More – FG Reports N12bn Loss
  • Lagos Food Traders Voice Concerns Over Inflation
  • Imported Food Costs Skyrocket in Nigeria Over Four Years
  • Naira Depreciation Amplifies Food Inflation Woes for Nigerians
  • PricePally Launches Employee Food Discount Scheme 

Ginger Disease Costs Abuja Farmers and More – FG Reports N12bn Loss

The Federal Government has confirmed the outbreak of the ginger blight epidemic in four states in Nigeria, resulting in substantial losses exceeding N12 billion for ginger farmers. The disease has significantly impacted ginger farms in Kaduna, Nassarawa, Plateau, and the Federal Capital Territory. Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, Aliyu Abdullahi, emphasized the devastating effects on farmers’ livelihoods and Nigeria’s position as the world’s second-largest ginger producer. To address the crisis, the government plans to launch a N1.6 billion recovery package for affected farmers. The epidemic underscores the importance of preparedness in safeguarding agricultural resources and highlights the need for investment in research and support systems. The task force committee, chaired by Abubakar Abdullahi, is committed to mitigating the situation and has requested additional resources to effectively discharge its duties.

Lagos Food Traders Voice Concerns Over Inflation

Food traders in Lagos State have voiced their concerns about the instability of produce prices and ongoing inflation in the country. Traders interviewed by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that prices of food items have become unpredictable, making it challenging to stock large quantities. Mr. John Nwabueze highlighted the volatility of rice prices, with both short and long-grain varieties seeing significant increases. Similarly, Mrs. Judith Amen noted fluctuations in the prices of rice, beans, groundnut oil, tomatoes, and other commodities. Mrs. Modinat Yusuf also lamented the scarcity and rising prices of basic food items such as semolina, knorr cubes, salt, and spaghetti. These fluctuations have made traders wary of stocking large quantities, as they struggle to predict future price trends and mitigate losses.

Imported Food Costs Skyrocket in Nigeria Over Four Years

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recently reported a significant increase in the cost of imported food in Nigeria. Over four years, from January 2020 to January 2024, the average price index for imported food more than doubled, rising by 105.03%. This surge, driven by exchange rate volatility, global supply chain disruptions, and domestic inflationary pressures, has led to higher prices for imported food staples, impacting urban consumers the most.

In response, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) called on the government to consider immediate importation of essential food items. However, President Bola Tinubu advocates for self-sufficiency in food production. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also highlighted Nigeria’s acute food crisis due to excessive reliance on imports.

As of January 2024, food inflation soared to 35.41%, reflecting significant price increases across various food commodities. This underscores the urgent need for strategic reassessment of the nation’s food security policies and economic resilience measures to address the immediate challenges faced by Nigerian consumers.

Naira Depreciation Amplifies Food Inflation Woes for Nigerians

Food prices in Nigeria are soaring due to a weakened naira, rising input costs, and production challenges. Annual food inflation reached 35.41% in January 2024, up from 24.32% in January 2023. The situation is dire, with over 104 million Nigerians living in poverty. Low-income earners are hit hardest. Nationwide protests demand action to curb the cost of living, fearing civil unrest. The naira’s 70% depreciation against the dollar since the currency peg ended has fueled imported goods’ price hikes. Imported food inflation surged from 18.49% in January 2023 to 26.29% in January 2024.

The Russia-Ukraine war, COVID-19 disruptions, and past border closures worsened food import costs. Scrapping fuel subsidies further spiked inflation, impacting farmers’ input prices. While the government distributes grains and offers cash transfers, calls for more significant interventions persist. Some advocate increased food imports, but others stress bolstering domestic production. President Tinubu prioritizes long-term agricultural reforms. Nigeria’s agricultural sector needs structural changes, given historic underinvestment, infrastructure gaps, and security threats. The government aims to stimulate agriculture through tax breaks and a national food reserve, but immediate relief for consumers remains a pressing concern.

PricePally Launches Employee Food Discount Scheme

We launched our Employee Food Discount Scheme. This new initiative is designed to offer added value to HR managers, CEOs, and business owners. It provides exclusive discounts on fresh groceries from PricePally. Through this scheme, companies can now extend special benefits to their employees and their families. These benefits include discounted prices, customizable orders, and convenient delivery options. With features like free delivery and tailored offers, our Employee Food Discount Scheme aims to enhance the well-being and satisfaction of employees and their families. We’re excited to introduce this scheme and look forward to serving more families with high-quality, farm-fresh produce. Click here to learn more about the scheme.

We have come to the end of our March 2024 food news edition. We will be back next month with more informative news stories. Share this March 2024 food news with your friends so they are also up-to-date with the latest happenings in the food space.