Food prices rise by 21.03% in July

Food prices continue to rise

. Inflation rate down to 17.38%

The abandonment of farmlands on account of the insecurity occasioned by farmers/herders crises, and rising incidence of kidnappings kept food inflation at 21.03% in July 2021.

Although the rate of rise was a bit slower compared to 21.83% recorded in June, the high level of inflation during the month in review meant that Nigerians continued to pay more for lesser food items, thereby weakening their purchasing power.

This is even as the latest consumer price index (CPI) report put the inflation rate at 17.38% in July (year-on-year) or 0.37% points lower than the rate recorded in June 2021 (17.75%) according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The CPI measures the average change over time in the prices of goods and services consumed by people for day-to-day living.

The NBS report released yesterday attributed the rise in the food index to “increases in prices of Milk, Cheese and Eggs, Coffee, Tea and Cocoa, Vegetables, Bread and Cereals, Soft drinks, and Meat.”

This also indicates that the various agricultural intervention programmes at national, sub-national and international levels, including payback delay and further slashing of interest on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) loans, could not crash food prices.

How food is grown and produced, what types of foods are consumed and how much food is wasted have major impacts on the sustainability of the world’s food system.

At an annual population growth rate of 2.56% (2020), there are concerns about the ability of Nigeria to feed its people in a sustainable manner under current crises.

Indeed, the United Nations estimates that the world’s population will reach 9.7 billion by 2050, and as such, food security and sustainability is imperative to feed the growing population and minimize the effects of climate change.

According to Eat Right Pro, “How food is grown and produced, what types of foods are consumed and how much food is wasted have major impacts on the sustainability of the world’s food system.”

For the food system to be sustainable, the Academy of Nutrition says it must conserve, protect, and regenerate natural resources, landscapes, and biodiversity to meet current food and nutrition needs without compromising the ability of the system to meet the needs of future generations.   

Meanwhile, the NBS CPI indicates that “On month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased by 0.86 percent in July 2021, down by 0.25 percent points from 1.11 percent recorded in June 2021.”

“The average annual rate of change of the Food sub-index for the twelve-month period ending July 2021 over the previous twelve-month average was 20.16 percent, 0.44 percent points from the average annual rate of change recorded in June 2021 (19.72) percent.”

Generally, the report said on a month-on-month basis, the Headline index increased by 0.93 percent in July 2021. This was 0.13 percentage points lower than the rate recorded in June 2021 (1.06) percent.

The urban inflation rate increased by 18.01 percent (year-on-year) in July 2021 from 18.35 percent recorded in June 2021, while the rural inflation rate increased by 16.75 percent in July 2021 from 17.16 percent in June 2021.

Furthermore, Core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce, stood at 13.72 percent in July 2021, up by 0.63 percent when compared with 13.09 percent recorded in June 2021.

“The highest increases were recorded in prices of Garments, Shoes and other footwear, Clothing materials, other articles of clothing and clothing accessories, Vehicle spare parts, Major household appliances whether electric or not, Pharmaceutical products, Cleaning, repair and hire of clothing, Furniture and furnishing, Medical services and Hospital services,” the report said.

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