RICE PRICE SKYROCKETS AS LOCAL PRODUCTION DECLINES
Written by Oyebamiji Idowu on November 20, 2023
A new report has highlighted a widening gap between Nigeria’s rice consumption and domestic production, leading to a supply shortfall of approximately two million metric tonnes annually. This imbalance has driven up rice prices by over 37% in 2023 alone, according to the AFEX 2023 wet season crop production report.
Despite its potential to become a net rice exporter, Nigeria has been forced to spend over $15 billion in the past decade to meet its growing rice consumption. The AFEX report attributes this trend to factors such as population growth, urbanization, and rising incomes.
While the report anticipates a 4% increase in rice production, it also predicts a further price hike for paddy rice, potentially reaching up to 32%. This underscores the urgent need to address the supply-demand imbalance and bolster domestic rice production.
Nigeria’s reliance on rice imports has significant economic implications. The substantial foreign exchange spent on rice purchases could be redirected to other critical sectors, such as infrastructure development, education, and healthcare. Additionally, boosting local rice production would create employment opportunities and enhance food security.