Despite all assurances that Nigeria will soon be self-sufficient in rice production, farmers predicted that the country will not experience scarcity but will suffer hike in prices of food products in 2017 due to unprecedented demand and exportation of grains to other West African countries and other factors.
This was confirmed by the co-Founder and COO of Farmcrowdy, AfricanFarmer Mogaji, who said it is wrong for anyone to say Nigeria will experience scarcity of food, considering the number of people that went into farming in 2016.
According to statement from Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, an average of 500 trucks loaded with grains leave Nigeria for neighbouring countries each day via the nation’s land border and this, they believe, could trigger famine come 2017. But farmers have claimed that no amount of trucks laden with foods being taken out of giant of Africa, legally or illegally would bring shortage of food supply within the country.
However, they admitted that price of grains will definitely increase by 75% or 100% by New Year.
The farmers also listed several factors, adding that the impending food crisis could affect thousands of families throughout the country if governments does not strengthen its social safety net systems to ensure that rise in the price of basic commodities does not trigger accelerated poverty rates.
As a result of an outbreak of maize disease called army worm, which ravaged so many farms this season especially those operating in the South West region, the price of 30 tonnes bag of maize is now sold for N110,000/N120,000 from N65,000/N70,000. Hence farmers said there will be scarcity of maize from February 2017.
This also has in turn affected feed for cattle, chickens and other meat-producing animals, causing price increase of poultry products, since farmers complain of high price of maize for animal feed.
Other pronounced food products besides maize with outrageous inflation include, wheat, rice, sorghum and millet and these foods are the basic diet of millions of people around the world.