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When will price of local rice really crash in Nigeria?

Isola Moses

As the festive season and accompanying public holiday approach, Nigerians reportedly scramble for buy every grain of rice in the market (local or foreign), as the prices of the staple foodstuff are rising to N24, 000 and N28, 000 per 50kg bag for instance.

Months after the price of the commodity skyrocketed as a result of the closure of Nigeria’s land borders by the Federal Government, farmers and millers of rice across the country have promised that they would soon flood the markets with rice, and significantly lower the price following a bumper harvest.

Sunday Telegraph reports Aminu Goronyo, President of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), has said that the bumper harvest recorded this year is the first in history.

“We have a bumper harvest that we never had before. We have never had the type of bumper harvests that we recorded this year,” Goronyo stated.

He described the current comparative scarcity of the commodity in the country as “artificial scarcity” which according to him, is only being felt in few locations in the country.

“But I can assure that the situation will not last long,” he stated.

However, ConsumerConnect latest market survey, in December 2019, has revealed that several of the local rice brands yet sell between N18, 000 and N28, 000 per 50kg bag of rice, depending on the brand in the markets across Lagos State, the commercial capital of the country.

The survey also showed that at major food markets, such as Ile Epo (Oke Odo), Isheri, Ogba, Daleko and Mile 12, in Lagos, a 50kg bag of imported rice which previously sold from N13,000 to N14,500 before October 2019, has now shot up to between N24,000 and N30,000.

But Goronyo said: “There are enemies of this country who buy and store this commodity just because they want to create artificial scarcity.

“But let me tell you, our harvest is coming up in about three weeks from now, and the paddy coming to the mills, our millers cannot even mill it,” he remarked.

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