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Rising cost of food: Bag of 50kg rice hits N72,000 in Abuja markets

02 May 2024

A bag of 50 kg of rice is now selling for between N70,000 and N72,000 in Abuja markets and neighbouring states.

A bag of 25kg is sold between N32,000 and N35,000, while a bag of 10kg is sold between N14,000 and N16,000.

The Nigerian Tribune market survey reveals that the prices of food commodities are increasing on a daily basis.

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Speaking with a trader at Nyanya Market, Joshua Duada blamed the situation on insecurity and the high cost of transportation.

“At a point, we were farming enough rice; we have plenty of rice, but over the years, persistent insecurity has driven farmers from their farms, and many of these people no longer go to farms.

“Another challenge is the high cost of transportation; it is very expensive to bring goods here (Abuja), and by the time you spend so much on a fare, you have to adjust the price in order to recover your money,” he stated.

At Karu Market, Chineye Okafor told our reporter that foreign exchange and transport logistics are the indices pushing food prices upward.

“You see, the depreciation of the naira over time is causing prices of commodities, including food, to go up.

“Another factor is transport logistics; if you want to move goods from one state to another in this country, you pay through your nose.

“When these goods arrived, the only way for you to recover your capital was to sell them at a price that, at the end of the day, you were not at a loss,” she explained.

In a neighbouring state in Nasarawa, Faith John told the Tribune in Masaka Market that the imposition of numerous taxes at different stages of the agricultural value chain has significantly contributed to the rising prices of food products in Nigeria.

She said taxes do not only add to the overall production costs but also impact the final retail prices, thereby burdening consumers with price surges.

In recent times, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has conducted some market surveys in a bid to control the rising cost of commodities in the Nigerian market.

During the exercise, escalating transportation costs emerged as a key driver of the price hike. With transportation serving as a pivotal link in the distribution network, any increase in transportation expenses directly translates into higher prices for consumers (traders explained this to the Commission).

The above factor, compounded with other expenses incurred throughout the supply chain, contributes significantly to the overall inflationary pressures on food prices.

In the course of the market survey, it was also discovered that pesticide expenses contribute to the rising costs of agricultural produce.

The necessity to combat pests and diseases is adding an additional financial burden on farmers, which ultimately trickles down to consumers through increased prices.

Again, security challenges stemming from conflicts such as the herdsmen conflict with farmers were identified as exacerbating factors impacting the agricultural value chain.

The disruptions caused by security issues not only impede the movement of goods but also instil a sense of uncertainty among market participants, leading to further price escalations.

Source : msn