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April 14, 2024

Prices of Staples Projected to Increase in 2024 

The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP) and other agencies, recently published a report titled “West Africa Regional Supply and Market Outlook,” which showed that West African countries, including Nigeria, are expected to experience an increase in the price of staple foods such as rice, maize, millet, wheat, and cereals in 2024.

The report stated that the prices of these staples will increase above the five-year average price. This would occur due to a myriad of factors including reduced production, trade restrictions, and global geopolitical factors, amongst other factors. 

“Staple prices currently remain above the five-year average across the region. This is attributable to a combination of factors including production deficits, trade restrictions, insecurity in the Sahel, elevated global prices, high transaction costs, and currency depreciation in the coastal countries of the Gulf of Guinea.

“Nigeria’s annual inflation continues to climb, exacerbated by the removal of fuel subsidies. Prices are projected to stay above both average owing to the limited production performance, sustained demand, constrained humanitarian assistance, continuing trade disruptions, and security and socioeconomic challenges in the region.”

The report further predicted that rice production would increase and imports will decrease, whereas, maize, sorghum and millet production would decrease by 42% due to agroclimatic challenges, insecurity, and increasing costs of production; and that the drop in imports would occur as a result of global trade restrictions, shipping costs, lower national exchange rates, and domestic policies.

Positive regional production outlooks were predicted for most roots and tubers like cassava and yam, as well as cash crops owing to the strong output of major coastal country producers.

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