BY SAIFULLAH MAHMUD, MAY 10, 2022 | 03:22 PM
When President Muhammadu Buhari commissioned rice pyramids in Abuja early this year, the conversation it elicited was about the prices of the commodity in markets across the country.
The price of rice rose almost along with the Buhari presidency. It was believed to have followed some policies of the government, such as shutting down of some land borders of the country.
The federal government has variously claimed that the reason for these policies were to diversify the economy and boost local production.
At the commissioning, it was revealed that local production has gone up to more than 8.4 million metric tons per annum.
With that figure, Nigeria is put at 13th in the list of top 15 rice producing countries of the world.
Despite all these, the conversations have been about the commodity’s price in Nigerian markets.
A 50kg bag of locally produced rice sells averagely at N25, 000, about $60.
What are the prices of the commodity in the rest of the leading producers of rice in the world?
The 15 largest producers of rice include, in that order, China, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Philippines, Pakistan, Cambodia, Japan, Brazil, USA and Egypt.
According to globalproductprices.com, a portal that publishes global food prices, China sells 1kg of rice at $1.25, while India sells it at $0.70—one of the cheapest in the world.
Commodity prices are determined by several factors. In terms of foodstuff, they are largely determined by several post-production factions, including such remote things as a company’s brand. Others are yield quality, health benefits and taxes, among many others.
Other countries like Brazil, Thailand, India, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines and Pakistan sell the product between $0. 98 and $2.00.
In Africa, according to the food pricing site, the prices are also between $1 and $2, with the exception of Nigeria and Cameroon, where it is sold at $2.55 and $2.02, respectively.
Cameroon - $2.02
Morocco - $2.00
Angola - $1.86
Ghana - $1.81 Zambia - $1.81 Kenya - $1.62 Ivory Coast - $1.54 Uganda - $1.45 Tanzania - $1.12 South Africa - $1.10 Egypt - $0. 98
Similarly, countries that sell above Nigeria’s selling price are: UAE - $2.57 Israel - $2.61 Switzerland - $2.68 Norway - $2.70 Uruguay - $2.82 USA - $3.62 S/Korea - $3. 89 Japan - $4. 89.
But that may not be entirely accurate, at least in the case of Nigeria.
The market price of locally produced rice in Nigerian market is about $60, which means a kilogram is $1.25—a difference of about $1.3 compared to the price given by Global Product Prices.
Nigeria is currently the 13th largest producer of rice in the world, with annual production capacity of 8.4 million tons according to an entry on atlasbig.com.
If this record is accurate, she is the largest in Africa, followed by Egypt.
A different record also shows that Africa produces over 34 million metric tons annually.
This means that, Nigeria produces about 24.7 % of rice produced in the continent.
Despite all these, the question Nigerians keep asking is: why they are still buying rice at that rate?
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