Rice

  • Are prices of food items ‘coming down’ as claimed by Garba Shehu?

    Malam Garba who stated that though prices may differ across the country stressed that there was a general drop in prices of food items. 

    This, according to him, is as a result of President Muhammadu Buhari’s reforms in the agricultural sector.

    That there is a general drop in prices of food items in the country.

    FINDINGS

    The ICIR visited the website of the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) to get the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and inflation report for the month of August 2020 to verify the claim.

    The CPI is an index of prices paid for goods and services by the public in shops, markets, etc. It is one measure of inflation that captures the list of the prices of products; it alsoshows how much prices have increased during a particular period of time.

    It uses economic theory, sampling and other statistical techniques including surveys to produce a weighted measure of average price changes in the country.

    According to NBS in its recent report on the country’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), Nigeria’s inflation rate increased by 13.22% in August 2020. The increment is 0.40 per cent points higher than the rate recorded in July 2020 (12.82 percent).

    On a month-on-month basis, the index increased by 1.34 percent in August 2020. This is 0.09 percent higher than the rate recorded in July 2020 (1.25 percent).

    In addition, the urban inflation rate rose to 13.83 percent (year-on-year) in August 2020 from 13.40 percent recorded in July 2020, while the rural inflation rate increased by 12.65 percent in August 2020 from 12.28 percent in July 2020.

    On a month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 1.42 percent in August 2020, up by 0.15 from 1.27 percent recorded in July 2020, while the rural index also rose by 1.27 percent in August 2020, up by 0.04 from the rate recorded in July 2020 (1.23 percent)

    This statistics captures all food item indexes.

    Prices of food items

    Selected food price watch data for August 2020 also showed that the average price of 1 dozen of medium-sized Agric eggs increased year-on-year by 3.70% and month-on-month by 1.02% to N478.97 in August 2020 from N474.12 in July 2020 while the average price of piece of Agric eggs medium size (the price of one) increased year-on-year by 5.44% and month-on-month by 0.76% to N42.78 in August 2020 from N42.45 in July 2020.

    The average price of 1kg of tomato increased year-on-year by 29.48% and decreased month-on-month by -4.65% to N289.86 in August 2020 from N304.01 in July 2020.

    The average price of 1kg of rice (imported high quality sold loose) increased year-on-year by 40.69% and month-on-month by 2.30% to N501.71 in August 2020 from N490.44 in July 2020.

    Similarly, the average price of 1kg of yam tuber increased year-on-year by 34.74% and decreased month on month by -0.15% to N256.06 in August 2020 from N256.44 in July 2020

    The rise in the food index is, therefore, attributed to increases in prices of Bread and cereals, Potatoes, yam and other tubers, Meat, Fish, Fruits, Oils and fats and Vegetables.

    According to SB Morgen’s Q2 analysis on the prices of food across some selected states in Nigeria, comments from citizens translate the rising figures released by the NBS. 

    In the report, a woman quoted in Baruwa, Lagos, said that she typically spends N5,500 making a pot of jollof rice, up from N4,000. She, however, complained that even with this amount, the food does not go round enough for the entire family. According to this respondent, the most expensive ingredients are tomatoes, rice, chicken, and groundnut oil. Her family substitutes jollof rice with the new Jollof noodles and sometimes spaghetti. 

    The report also noted a respondent based in Abuja said that during the period of the pandemic, the cost of cooking Jollof rice has doubled. She added that she now uses fish in place of chicken or beef as these protein sources are now out of reach for her. This has reduced the number of times her family eats jollof rice, and she substitutes spaghetti or beans for rice.

    Buhari’s lament

    In addition, President Muhammadu Buhari on September 3, 2020, eight days before Mr Shehu Garba made the claim, lamented the increasing roles of middlemen in the hike in prices of food items across the country.

    He said the government was engaging with food producers associations to tackle the issue of exploitative behaviour by middlemen which, according to him, were one of the factors responsible for the current high food prices.

    “We are very mindful of the challenge of high food prices, at a time when the economy is already in a slowdown caused by the global coronavirus situation, and are doing everything in our power to bring down the prices of food items across the country,” Buhari said.

    Verdict

    With the above findings, there is no attribution that can be made to the spokesman’s claim about the decrease in the prices of food which make his claim FALSE. 

    On the contrary, there is a sheer steady rise in the prices of food across the country with the figures published by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). 

    The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2020 Fellowship partnership with The ICIR to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country. 

  • True! Nigeria is the largest producer of rice in Africa, 14th in global ranking

    Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture claimed Nigeria is the largest producer of rice in Africa, ranking 14th in the world.

    True. The Minister was right with his comment that Nigeria is the largest producer of rice in Africa. Data sourced from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and United States Department of Agriculture confirm the minister’s claim.

    Full Text

    On Monday 17th August, 2020, in a report in one of Vision FM’s Flagship Programme in Hausa, Taskar Vision, the Minister of Agriculture, Sabo Nanono, said Nigeria is ranked 13th in the production of rice in the World, and the 1st in Africa.

    In the Current Affairs programme aired in all Vision FM Stations in seven (7) Northern states (Abuja, Katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi, Kano, Kaduna and Gombe), the minister said in Hausa, “We are currently the 13th position in Rice production in the World. In Africa we are the 1st.”

    The Minister was answering questions as to whether or not there will be a food crisis in Nigeria due to COVID-19 Pandemic.

    Nanono continued “With what we are seeing, God willing, we won’t experience food shortage like people are expecting.”

    “Rainy season is here and people are farming more than they used to. I’m not ruling out that there is no insecurity. But that won’t stop people from farming” he said.

    Food Crisis

    In July this year, the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Gutteres, said the world stands at the brink of suffering a food crisis the globe has not experienced in the past 50 years.

    “Unless immediate action is taken, it is increasingly clear that there is an impending global food emergency that could have long-term impacts on hundreds of millions of children and adults,” Angonio Gutteres said. 

    He added: “We need to act now to avoid the worst impacts of our efforts to control the pandemic.”

    According to the UN, about 820million people are already going hungry, saying the number will definitely rise.

    “Our food systems are failing, and the COVID-19 pandemic is making things worse,” he said.

    Verification

    Nigeria is estimated to produce 8 million tonnes of rice in 2020, according to an estimate by the United States Department of Agriculture.

    Nigeria’s rice produce has continued to rise since 2014 at 6million tonnes and 2015 6.2million tonnes. It peaked in 2016 at 7.5million tonnes but dropped to 6.6million tonnes in 2017, before rising again to 6.8million tonnes in 2018, data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) revealed.

    The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) source data largely from member countries and based on imputation methodology.

    In 2014, Nigeria overtook Egypt to become Africa’s Largest Producer of rice when production reached 6million tonnes from 4.8million tonnes in 2013, according to Index Mundi which sourced it information from the United States Department of Agriculture.

    Media Bias/Fact Check, a media bias resource, ranked IndexMundi ‘High’ in Factual Reporting.

    Not all Rosy — Nigeria still import rice

    Nigeria only produces 55% of its rice consumption, according to the Rice Industry Review. 

    In 2019, Nigeria produced 8 million metric tonnes of rice, puting the country among the top 20 producers of rice in the world, according to Data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

    Although Nigeria has been the largest producer of rice in Africa since it overtook Egypt in 2014, Nigeria is still the 4th Largest Importer of Rice, estimated to import 1.4 million tonnes in 2020, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

    Nigeria still maintains the first place in Africa with Egypt and Madagascar following closely in the second and third place respectively.

    However, despite Nigeria being one of the largest producers of rice in the world, it is still among the largest importers, like China which is the largest producer in the world and one of the largest importers of rice.

    Conclusion

    The Minister was right with his comment that Nigeria is the largest producer of rice in Africa. Data sourced from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and United States Department of Agriculture confirm the minister’s claim.

    The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2020 Fellowship partnership with Vision FM to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country. 

  • Presidency wrong again; Nigeria not world’s second-largest rice producer

    Nigeria is not the world’s second-largest producer of rice as recently claimed by the Buhari administration.Read More »

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