As food prices surge relentlessly, plunging Nigerians into distressing hunger, AFEX reported a staggering 5.7 million metric ton food shortage in Nigeria during the unveiling of its 2023 Crop Production Report.
This report, presented at a hybrid event, outlined the primary causes of Nigeria’s food scarcity, which has pushed the country to the 109th position out of 125 countries on the Global Hunger Index, signaling an alarmingly high level of food insecurity.
The report identified food insecurity and soaring food inflation as major challenges for Nigeria, noting a shortage of 5.7 million metric tons across both human consumption and agro processing, accompanied by a record-high food inflation rate of 30.64%. It warned that if food prices continue to escalate as observed in 2023, the continent’s efforts towards achieving Zero Hunger by 2030 will be severely hampered, prolonging the food security crisis.
Although the report highlighted improvements in access to farmland in crucial regions and an increase in the utilization of enhanced inputs like high-yielding seeds and fertilizers compared to the previous season, it also emphasized the persistent issue of inadequate input lending. Agriculture accounted for only 6.16% of bank lending in 2022, reflecting a significant challenge in supporting agricultural activities.
The President/CEO of AFEX Nigeria, Akinyinka Akintunde, speaking during the launch of the report said: “This year, we nearly doubled our sample size from 20,677 to 39,091 to get an accurate reflection of the current state of Agriculture production, and we found that we must take extra care to prioritize improvement in agricultural productivity for these farmers, and this is hinged on investing in the sector, and solving for infrastructure, logistics, and technology gaps.
“This transformation will substantially enhance food self-sufficiency and increase our ability to meet the nutritional and food security needs of a growing population while also bolstering the economy through foreign exchange earnings.”
“A recurring limitation for agriculture on the continent is a shortage of reliable data, which affects the availability of transparent pricing and limits, on one hand, participation from the side of capital market operators and largely financial market players and on the other hand, farmers’ ability to negotiate equitable contracts for themselves.
“This report attempts to build that gap by building a reliable data bank to promote market education and facilitate accurate trading decisions.”
Nevertheless, the report predicts increased pricing trends for Paddy rice, Soybean, Sorghum, Cocoa, and Sesame.
Regarding pricing, the report anticipates a rise in prices across all commodities due to a general decrease in production alongside increasing demands in both processing and exportation.
Paddy Rice experienced a significant surge in 2022/2023, partially attributed to heightened flooding and the ban on rice imports from India, resulting in a 34% increase with a baseline price of NGN353,000/mt. This price is projected to escalate to NGN400,000/mt and eventually stabilize between NGN480,000 to NGN500,000/mt by Q3 2023.
Meanwhile, focusing on six crucial commodities (Maize, Paddy Rice, Soybean, Sorghum, Cocoa, and Sesame), the report utilized farmer surveys and transaction-level data to track essential information regarding crop production, price fluctuations, and market dynamics.
The report aims to enhance comprehension of the current food system while equipping stakeholders in the commodities market with valuable insights to make informed, data-driven trading decisions in the upcoming season.
AFEX operates as a platform facilitating efficient commodity trade in Africa, beginning at the producer level to enhance productivity and livelihoods, while ensuring the availability of commodities in suitable quality and quantity for local and regional trade.
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