Food Prices Decrease in Kano, Taraba, Kwara, Niger

by Ohepo Ohepo

Food prices have recently begun to decline in major grain markets across Kano, Taraba, and Niger states, offering a glimmer of hope amidst the economic turmoil that has led to widespread protests in various parts of Nigeria, including Lagos, Kano, Niger, and recently Ibadan, Oyo State. This positive shift in food prices comes as a relief to many, especially after calls for government action from notable Nigerian figures and organizations to address the soaring cost of living.

In Kano State, significant decreases in the prices of essential grains such as maize, soya beans, beans, and rice were reported in markets like Doguwa, Tudun Wada, and Bunkure. Local grain merchant Hudu Faruk linked this price reduction to actions taken by the Kano State Public Complaint and Anti-Corruption Commission against warehouses hoarding grains. Similarly, trader Adam Isah Barkum noted a decrease in demand from major buyers as another contributing factor.

Taraba State also witnessed a drop in the prices of maize, millet, sorghum, white beans, soybeans, and dried cassava across several markets. For instance, in Maihula town, a farmer reported a significant decline in the price of a 100kg bag of maize, among other staples, attributing the decrease to the reduced presence of middlemen in the markets.

Kwara State’s agricultural scene mirrored these trends, with farmers like Bose Anifowose noting a substantial decrease in the selling price of a 50kg bag of maize. Mukaila Salaudeen, a local agricultural leader, observed a gradual reduction in grain prices, attributing this to the government’s policies and the anticipation of a market crash following grain reserve releases.

Niger State also saw a reduction in the prices of key grains, which locals attributed to governmental bans on bulk grain purchases. However, the price of fertilizers surged, posing a challenge for the upcoming rainy season farming.

Despite these positive signs, food prices remain high in Benue State and fluctuate in Katsina State. Katsina’s market dynamics have been influenced by the withdrawal of major animal feed companies from grain purchases, affecting the stability of maize and soybean prices.

This decrease in food prices across several states is seen as a result of concerted efforts by large animal feed producers to suspend grain purchases, government actions against grain hoarders, and enhanced border surveillance to prevent grain export. These measures have collectively contributed to the easing of food prices, offering some respite from the economic hardships faced by Nigerians, underscored by the recent protests in Ibadan over hunger and hardship.

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