The price of local rice has surged by 73.2 percent in a year, attributed to the escalating costs of production, transportation, and other influencing factors, as reported by The PUNCH. This increase occurred despite the Central Bank of Nigeria’s multi-billion naira funding to support the nation’s rice value chain, aimed at enhancing production and curbing the importation of foreign rice.
Despite being a staple food in Nigeria, the price of rice continues to rise locally, reaching between N55,000 and N60,000 for a 50kg bag, depending on the location. Data from the National Bureau of Statistics, analyzed by The PUNCH, revealed that the average price of 1kg of local rice rose from N500.80 to N867.20, marking a 73.2 percent increase between November 2022 and November 2023. Comparatively, the price of 1kg of foreign-imported rice increased by 61.53 percent during the same period, rising from N704.13 to N1,137.
The report also indicated regional variations in prices, with Lagos State recording the highest price of N1,122.42 for local rice, despite the operation of the 32-tonne per hour Lagos Rice Mill in Imota. Conversely, Kebbi State recorded the lowest price at N688.
The President of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Kabir Ibrahim, attributed the high price of local rice to inflation and the associated increased cost of production. He highlighted factors such as logistics, packaging, and labor costs contributing significantly to the rising prices. However, he expressed skepticism about the figures provided by the NBS, deeming them unrealistic and not market-based. He emphasized the impact of transportation costs and the removal of the fuel subsidy on the cost of production.
In a related development, a joint report by the Food and Agricultural Organisation, World Food Program, and others projected increased prices of staple foods, including rice, maize, millet, and cereals, in 2024 for Nigeria and other countries in the West Africa region.