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COVID-19: Nigeria, others face threat of food crisis – AfDB



…Earmarks $1.5b for Africa emergency food plan
…Ijebu garri rises to N15,000 per bag

NIGERIA and other African countries must prepare for a global food crisis occasioned by the Russia-Ukraine war, African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina has advised.

  Speaking in a statement issued by AfDB on Africa’s priorities as a guest at the Atlantic Council’s Africa Centre, yesterday, Adesina said the war had worsened the woes of many Africans that resulted from COVID-19 and climate change.

Explaining that Russia and Ukraine supply 30 per cent of global wheat exports, price of which has surged by almost 50 per cent globally, reaching identical levels as during the 2008 global food crisis.

  The AfDB boss, therefore, urged African leaders to fend off food crisis by rapidly expanding the continent’s food production.

“My basic principle is that Africa should not be begging. We must solve our own challenges ourselves without depending on others,” he said.

  Adesina, however, disclosed AfDB has earmarked $1.5 billion for Africa Emergency Food Plan.

The food plan is awaiting the ratification of the bank’s Board.

  “To prepare against the evil day, AfDB has developed a $1.5 billion Africa Emergency Food Plan, which is now before the bank’s Board for approval. It will affect food production by about 20%. Africa will lose $11 billion worth of food, and coming shortly after COVID-19, that would be rather serious,” he said.

  Meanwhile, incessant hike in prices of staple food items across markets in Lagos State continued into April with the price of garri, tomatoes, beans, and bush mango popularly known as ‘ogbono’ witnessing significant surge in price compared to the previous month.

According to latest market survey carried out across four major markets in Lagos State, in markets include Daleko, Oyingbo, Mile 12 and Mushin markets, other food items like yam, onions, crate of eggs amongst others witnessed a reduction in their average prices following the significant surge recorded in the previous month as a result of petrol scarcity, skyrocketed diesel cost and lack of power supply.

  Notably, an 80kg bag of Ijebu garri increased by 28.2 per cent to sell for an average of N15,000 compared to N11,700 recorded in the previous month while a 50kg bag of Oloyin beans that was initially sold for an average of N32,125, now sells for an average of N35,700, representing an increase of 11.1 per cent.

On the other hand, the price of a big-sized tuber of yam dropped to an average of N1,275 as against an average of N1,500 recorded in the previous month, while the price of a 50kg bag of foreign rice (Mr. Rice) decreased by 13.3 per cent to sell for an average of N28,620 compared to N33,000 recorded in March 2022.

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