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Food Prices Soar, Leaving Families Struggling to Eat

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CEM REPORT, MARKET| Nigeria is facing a growing food crisis, with the prices of staple foods like rice, beans, and garri becoming increasingly unaffordable for the average Nigerian. This surge in food prices has put a significant strain on household budgets, pushing many families towards food insecurity.

According to CEM market sources, the cost of a bag of beans now ranges between ₦200,000 and ₦250,000, depending on the brand. This represents a massive increase compared to previous years. Similarly, a bag of rice can cost up to ₦90,000.

While smaller quantities like a derica of rice now cost between ₦1,300 and ₦1,400. Beans in smaller quantities have also seen a price hike, selling between ₦2,000 and ₦2,200 per derica.

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Garri, Leaves Trenches for Estate

Garri, a staple food traditionally considered affordable for low-income families “poor man’s food,” has seen a dramatic price increase. A paint bucket of white or red garri now averages ₦4,000, a price point that many Nigerians can no longer afford.

Similarly, the rising cost of tomatoes adds another layer of difficulty to daily meals. Five balls of tomatoes can cost ₦1,000, while a whole paint bucket can range from ₦6,000 to ₦7,000 depending on size and freshness.

Food Prices, Impacting Business Growth

Food vendors are also feeling the pinch of rising food costs. They have been forced to raise their prices or reduce their profit margins to stay in business.

One vendor, who wished to remain anonymous, explained that a plate of food served at an event previously cost between ₦3,000 and ₦3,500. However, due to the increased food costs, the price has jumped to ₦4,500 – ₦5,000 per plate.

“The cost per plate still depends on the type of food,” the vendor explained. “Rice and swallow [pounded yam or other starchy staple] are not the same price, and the toppings also contribute to the overall price.”

The impact of rising food prices is being felt by Nigerians across all walks of life. Bolanile Ojo, a mechanic, shared his experience with CEM. “Before now, I would need about N500 to get lunch,” he said. “I could buy bread for ₦200, beans for ₦200, and some meat for N100, and I’d be satisfied. But now, it’s ₦500 for bread, ₦500 for beans, and it’s still not enough.”

Solutions to Food Prices

The joint labour unions have demanded the government increase the minimum wage to meet prevailing market food prices and other basic necessities. This has led to a series of negotiations without an outcome as the government has said it cannot meet the demands of the union.

Experts have however recommended other measures to militate these challenges:

Investing in domestic food production: Increased investment in agriculture can help boost domestic food production and reduce reliance on imports.

Subsidies for essential food items: Targeted subsidies for staple foods like rice, beans, and garri could provide temporary relief for low-income households.

Improving food security measures: Strengthening food storage and distribution systems can help minimize price fluctuations.

Read Also: Tecno, Infinix, iTel Leads Nigerian Mobile Market with 26% Share

If You Ask Me

The reasons behind Nigeria’s food crisis are complex and multifaceted. Factors such as rising inflation, supply chain disruptions, and climate change have all contributed to the current situation.

The Nigerian government needs to take urgent action to address this food price crisis. With many Nigerians struggling to put food on the table, the situation could lead to a significant increase in food insecurity and malnutrition.

With limited options and budgets stretched thin, many Nigerians are hoping for government policies that can help alleviate the burden of rising food prices. Urgent action is needed to address this crisis and ensure that all Nigerians have access to affordable, nutritious food.

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