Nigeria, other West African countries to witness food inflation in 2024 — FAO

Nigeria and other countries across the West Africa region are projected to see increased prices of staple foods such as rice, maize, millet, cereals, etc in 2024.

This is according to a report titled “West Africa Regional Supply and Market Outlook” published jointly by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), World Food Program (WFP), and others.

According to the report, prices of staple crops such as maize, wheat, rice, millet, etc will increase above the five-year average price occasioned by a reduction in production, trade restrictions, global geopolitical factors, and others.

“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, the report stated specifically that an increase in annual inflation propelled by the removal of fuel subsidies will push prices of staple foods above their average level.

It also identified limited production as well as sustained demand, trade restriction, insecurity, etc as factors fuelling the increased prices.

It stated, “Moreover, 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 also forecasted a huge decline of 42 per cent in maize, sorghum, and millet production due to agro climatic challenges, insecurity, and rising production costs while rice production will see an increase and reduction in imports.

The report stated that the drop in imports is due to “global trade restrictions, shipping costs, lower national exchange rates, and domestic policies.”

The report further highlighted positive regional production outlooks for most roots, tubers like cassava and yam, and cash crops due to the strong output of major coastal country producers.