Price Of Local Rice Increased By 73% In 12 Months – NBS

National Bureau of Statistics data shows the average price of 1kg of local rice increased from N500.80 to N867.20 between November 2022 and November 2023.

The price of imported rice also rose by 61.53 percent, from N704.13 to N1,137 per kilogramme in the same period. Locally, rice prices were highest in Lagos State at N1,122.42, despite the presence of the Lagos Rice Mill producing Eko Rice.

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had previously stated that the Lagos Rice Mill would significantly reduce rice importation, with an annual production capacity of 2.5 million 50kg bags.

The National President of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Kabir Ibrahim, who spoke with Punch, attributed the price hike to inflation, increased production costs, and logistics.

He, however, questioned the NBS’s figures, deeming them unrealistic and not reflective of actual market prices.

He said, “The cost of production has always been very high due to various factors. Transportation is a factor, and it became a very serious threat to pricing after the removal of the fuel subsidy. If you are buying a bowl of milled rice, the miller has to provide its own power, pay workers’ salaries, and discount the cost of his machinery. He has to do packaging along with transportation costs. So it’s definitely going to be more expensive than imported rice that’s not edible in Thailand.

“Two, the farm gauge price is far different from the prices in the market, and three markets stand out and should not be used as a parameter for pricing. The prices you get in Lagos, Abuja, and Port-Harcourt are not good indices. There is already an apathy against imported rice because people have now realised it has better quality, and those countries selling it cheap are doing so just to get rid of it.

“However, I think a 70 percent increase by the NBS is not realistic and too high. The bureau may be carrying out this information, but I tell you, the prices are a bit cheaper than what is reported. If you go to real markets and not artificial ones, to put things correctly, there is definitely food inflation, and it is skyrocketing, but if we go by these commodities, we are likely to be lying to ourselves and the general public.

“The past administration invested a lot in rice production, and I think they should be applauded. We used to import rice to the tune of trillions, but that has changed.”

Also read: Nigeria loses over $3 billion annually to fake agricultural inputs

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