Nigerian’s food inflation index defied expectations by reducing to 19.42 per cent in December from 20.31 per cent in November according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics report at a time when Nigerians suffered bruising fuel crisis which usually leads to hike in food prices.
December is usually a festive period where the prices of items especially food are high and with the unexpected fuel scarcity faced by Nigerians during that period, it didn’t affect the prices of food items.
In terms of fuel scarcity know that it was petrol that was scare, diesel was not and so most of these stable crops e.g. rice, maize, cassava are moved around trucks fuelled by diesel. Says Aboidun Olorundenro, Chief Excetive of Green Vine Farm Limited.
He also added that there was no much cash flow in the economy and this reduced the level of patronage in December and people were not able to move about due to high cost in transportation.
The season was irregular last year, as rainfall started from July till December unlike the typical period where it starts from late march or early April till July then a break in august till it starts to rain little from September till October.
Based on a report by famine early warning system network, the harvest season extended to the end of the year.so there was increase in production majorly in the southern part of Nigeria.
And because of this higher expected harvest, there was more supply in the market in December last year, so the demand pressure was not enough to drive the prices so much compared to what we are seeing in prier months”. says Aderonke Akinsola, Senior Research Analyst, Chaphill Denham
“For crops like grains, it reduced the price and for rice, we seem to grow a lot of local rice now especially in Kebbi, Ogun state, lake rice in Lagos state so that has also reduced in terms of pricing”. Olorundenro added.
He also added that a lot of farmers who have poultry in December sell off their birds that will also reduce the demand for grains e.g maize for soya and for cassava, for those who make Garri, December is not a time where people make a lot of Garri from cassava and that also reduced the demand for these crops