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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Traders blame dollar rate, flood on soar price of rice

By Francis Akinnodi

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Price of rice has gone up in Ondo state as a 50kg bag of rice now costs N48,000 up from N35,000 for which it was sold three weeks ago.

According to The Hope who conducted a market survey across some major markets in Ondo state reports a 50kg bag of locally-parboiled rice now sells for N43,000 up from N28,000 in September.

A bag of local rice containing 80 bowl measures of local rice which was sold at N50,000 at the beginning of the year now sells at N72,000.

A trader in Ondo, Emmanuel Ebanizo  blamed the price increases on soaring rate of the dollar and recent flooding in parts of the country.

“The price of a 50kg bag of foreign parboiled rice has risen between N45,000 to N48,000 from N35,000 that was obtainable just three weeks ago.

“I believe the rise in dollar rates, high cost of transportation due to fuel scarcity could be the reason for the upward change in price.

“The floods affected many parts of the country, limiting the amount of foods and other commodities that could be moved around.

“From the feelers that we are getting a bag of foreign rice might cost up to N50,000 by December and not just rice, but other food items like groundnut oil, flour, Semovita and others,” he said.

A foodstuffs trader at “Oja oba”, Blessing Uche, said that 80 bowl measures of local rice which used to sell for N50,000 is now sold at N72, 000 and it may go higher.

She also blamed the floods for soaring food prices noting that the floods washed away a lot of rice farms.

“A bowl of foreign rice sold between N1500 and N1600 depending on the quality. Even the local rice is cost; N1300, N1400.

“The price of food commodities keep increasing while the income of the consumers remain constant.”

According to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) the 2022 flood is the worst in a decade.

It destroyed more than 70,000 hectares of farmland, damaged more than 45,000 houses and displaced more than 1.4 million Nigerians, while taking the lives of about 600 persons.

Current data from the United Nations office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs shows that people affected by widespread flooding across Nigeria has risen to more than 3.2 million.

It reported also that more than 600 fatalities were recorded and 1.4 million people displaced.

It also reported that 4.1 million people would face severe food insecurity with 1.7 million children below the age of five years suffering from acute malnutrition in 2022.

The Hope reports that there had been increases also in the prices of maize, groundnut oil, palm oil and Semovita, among others.

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