The 2023 Crop Production Report, released by AFEX, Africa’s top commodities participant, forecasts that the persistent surge in food prices witnessed this year poses an obstacle to achieving zero hunger in Africa by 2030. According to the report, Nigeria faces significant food security and inflation challenges. There is an alarming deficit of 5.7 million metric tonnes in both human consumption and agro-processing sectors. Additionally, the country is currently witnessing an unprecedented food inflation rate of 30.64 percent, reaching a historic peak.
Nigeria is grappling with a severe food security crisis, as indicated by its distressingly high Global Hunger Index score of 109 out of 125 countries. This alarming report aligns with the recent estimate by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), predicting that approximately 26.5 million individuals in Nigeria will face significant food insecurity by the year 2024. Dominique Kouacou, the FAO Country Representative, made this disclosure during the unveiling of the Cadre Harmonise (CH) food security and early warning analysis for the period of October to November in Abuja.
Stakeholders to make informed trading choices for the approaching season.
Also, the crop production report is a valuable resource that gathers essential data on six crucial commodities: Maize, Soybean, Sesame, Paddy rice, Sorghum and Cocoa. By combining farmer surveys with the analysis of transaction-level data, this report enables them to track vital information concerning crop production, price performance, as well as market dynamics. The report aims to enhance comprehension of the existing food system and equip stakeholders in the commodities market with valuable insights to facilitate informed trading choices for the approaching season.
This season, there is a noteworthy enhancement in farmland accessibility for cultivation in essential regions. Additionally, the utilisation of advanced inputs like high-yield seeds and fertilisers has seen a rise compared to previous seasons. Consequently, Maize and Paddy rice are projected to achieve significantly greater production for this season. In the present era, input lending continues to pose a significant obstacle, per the report findings. Agriculture receives only a 6.16 percent share of bank lending in the year 2022.
Agricultural productivity for farmers should be prioritised.
Akinyinka Akintunde, the President/CEO of AFEX Nigeria, emphasised the significance of their recent report launch, where they shared crucial findings. By remarkably increasing their sample size from 20,677 to 39,091, AFEX Nigeria accurately portrayed the current state of Agriculture production. It emphasised the importance of prioritising agricultural productivity for farmers, highlighting the need to invest in the sector and address crucial gaps in infrastructure, logistics, and technology. This transformation will effectively address a rising population’s nutritional and food security requirements by significantly improving food self-reliance. Moreover, it will concurrently stimulate the economy by generating foreign exchange revenue.
A significant constraint faced by agriculture in the continent is the insufficient availability of credible data, leading to limited access to fair pricing and hindering engagement from capital market operators as well as the financial market players. This absence of reliable data also hampers farmers’ capacity to secure fair contracts that benefit them. According to Akintunde, the report aims to bridge the divide by establishing a trustworthy database that encourages market literacy and enables precise trading choices.
Reduced production and growing demand will fuel the surge.
Lastly, the AFEX report shows a projected rise in commodity prices. This forecast is based on reduced production and growing demand in both the processing and export sectors. The report highlighted that the significant surge in paddy rice during 2022/2023 was influenced by various factors, such as intensified flooding and the Indian rice prohibition. This led to a substantial rise of 34% with a baseline price of N353,000/mt. The price is anticipated to escalate further to N400,000/mt and eventually settle between N480,000 and N500,000/mt by the third quarter of 2023.