A surge in food prices continues to grip Nigeria as the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reveals that the costs of staple food items such as tomatoes, beans, and yams have experienced a significant rise in April.
NBS aired these findings through its recently released Selected Food Prices Watch Report for April, published from its Abuja office this Saturday.
Highlighting the statistics, the report shows that the average cost of 1kg of tomato leapt by 13.73 per cent yearly, climbing from N426.54 in April 2022 to N485.10 in April 2023.
Reiterating the distressing trend every month, the report specifies that 1kg of tomato increased by 3.97 per cent in April compared to the N466.60 recorded in March 2023.
Meanwhile, the average cost of 1kg of brown beans (loosely sold) spiked by 16.03 per cent yearly, jumping from N530.62 in April 2022 to N615.67 in April 2023. Moreover, there was a month-on-month increase of 3.13 per cent in April from N596.96 in March 2023.
Additionally, the average price of 1kg of onion bulb underwent a 15.87 per cent increase yearly, scaling from N380.94 in April 2022 to N441.38 in April 2023. Although, on a month-on-month basis, there was a minor dip of 0.67 per cent in April from the N444.37 recorded in March 2023.
Staple diet items weren’t the only affected goods. The report reveals that the cost of 1kg boneless beef escalated by 23.13 per cent from N2,026.8 in April 2022 to N2,495.69 in April 2023. A month-on-month increase of 0.65 per cent was also recorded from the N2,479.61 logged in March 2023.
This increase in food prices paints a worrisome picture for Nigerians, further contributing to their daily struggles amidst the economic hardships.
Facing the Unyielding Surge in Food Prices
A discernible uptick in the cost of staple food items, as stated by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), cannot be overlooked. It’s a scenario riddled with implications, underlining a pressing economic problem Nigeria must confront.
As the NBS report attests, the average cost of staple foods such as tomatoes, brown beans, onion bulbs, and even boneless beef is on a persistent rise. These increments in food prices – some as significant as 23.13 per cent year-on-year – can have severe ramifications for citizens grappling with economic hardships.
We understand that numerous factors can influence price fluctuations in the food market. Indeed, agriculture is vulnerable to climate change, fluctuating fuel prices, and inflation, to name a few. We acknowledge the complexity of the problem at hand.
But even so, this steep upward trend cannot be taken lightly. Food, after all, is a basic human necessity. Hence, the issue directly impacts the daily lives of Nigerians, potentially driving more people into food insecurity and impoverishment.
We must remember it’s not just about percentages and statistics; it’s about real people grappling with these rising costs each day. Families find it increasingly hard to put meals on their tables. It’s about children who may be at risk of malnutrition because of the rising cost of nutritious food.
The urgent need of the hour is to explore and implement effective, sustainable solutions to address this crisis. Measures such as improving agricultural productivity through better farming techniques, promoting local food production, and introducing effective price control mechanisms should be considered.
Policy-makers and stakeholders must rise to this challenge. There must be a concentrated effort towards achieving food security and ensuring that fundamental human rights are upheld. We must consider the impact of these rising food prices and act accordingly.
Did You Know?
- Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, with an estimated population of over 206 million.
- Agriculture contributes about 23.8% of Nigeria’s GDP, employing about 70% of the country’s labour force.
- Tomatoes, one of the staples whose price has risen, are the world’s most popular fruit. More than 60 million tonnes are produced each year.
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