Latest statistics compiled by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reveals that Nigeria spends over half (56.4%) of household income on food.
The report also says there are nine countries that spend over 40% on food, of which four are African countries (Nigeria 56.4%; Kenya 46.7%; Cameroon 45.6%; and Algeria 42.5%) and four Asian countries (Kazakhstan 43.0%; Philippines 41.9%; Pakistan 40.9%; and Azerbaijan 40.1%).
Guatemala is the only South American country to appear in the list and spends 40.6% of its household income on food.
On the other hand, there are only eight countries in the world that spend less than 10% of their household income on food. Four of these are in Europe: the UK is third at 8.2%, followed by Switzerland at 8.7%; Ireland spends 9.6% and Austria 9.9%.
The remaining four countries are spread across the globe. The US spends the least at 6.4%, Singapore spends the second lowest amount at 6.7%. Canada spends 9.1% on food, while Australia spends 9.8%.
The figures do not mean that food is more expensive in Nigeria than in other parts of the world. In fact, quite the reverse is the case, as there can be wide disparities within a country.
For instance, while the average Nigerian spends about $1,132 per year on food, the average American spends double that amount, about $2,392 per year. The average Kenyan spends just $543 a year on food.
A map released in the report shows that on a general note, the more developed a country is, the smaller the percentage of household income it spends on food.
The report further states that over the past 25 years, the poorest 20% of households in the US spent between 28.8% and 42.6% on food, compared with 6.5% to 9.2% spent by the wealthiest 20% of households.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is an agency which provides leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on public policy, the best available science, and effective management.