bakers lamented the severe shortage of wheat
Imports of durum or pasta wheat in Nigeria have continued to increase, rising from N730.9 billion by 2020 to N1.295 trillion by 2021.
Punch figures from the National Bureau of Statistics Foreign Trade Statistics showed that wheat purchases in the most populous nation in Africa increased by 77.23 percent from 2020 to 2021.
Wheat is an important commodity that works like flour in the production of pasta, bread, noodles, among others.
Economists say the difference in the two years may be due to the declining national currency and insecurity that has led to low or no productivity in northern Nigeria for some years.
Naira fell by more than 15 percent in the official market and more than 20 percent in the same market in two years, but terrorists and gangsters in the north also chased away farmers of wheat and other crops, which led to a disruption of purchases.
“If you make $ 1m in 2020 and make $ 1m in 2021, the amount of money will not be the same for naira in these two years due to the decline in the price of naira,” said the Chief Promotional Officer. Private business, Dr Muda Yusuf.
He said apart from inflation, the country had not been able to grow wheat, adding that the Central Bank of Nigeria was making efforts to boost the growth of the crop by asking flour mills to invest in backlinks.
“But we did not succeed. Some players had great plans to come back but as they tried to do so, it became unsafe and social problems, ”said Yusuf.
But the Chairman of the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria, Lagos State chapter, Raji Omotunde, said wheat imports were very high due to low production, noting that bakers suffered from high wheat prices.
“Grinders have been increasing their prices. The price of a 50 kg bag of wheat has increased from more than N20,000 to N27,000. The price of a 50kg bag of sugar has also gone up from N22,000 to N26,000. The price of diesel has also gone up. We are not raising prices because bread is something everyone should buy, and we have considered that, ”he said.
Wheat prices have risen by more than 60 percent this year as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine make up about one third of the world’s wheat exports. Countries like India are rumored to be planning to ban wheat exports due to uncertainty in the world market, and Nigeria will bear the brunt.
Omotunde said, “Since the war started, you have nowhere to get wheat. It has a negative impact on Nigeria and is in short supply. ”
The president of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Mr Kabir Ibrahim, told Newsmen that CBN had recently released 13,000 wheat seeds distributed to farmers.
He said things were changing as Nigeria made efforts to supply wheat, adding that although the Anchor Borrowers Scheme was more focused on rice than wheat, things were starting to go well for wheat farmers.
A report from the United States Department of Agriculture in April 2022 said Nigeria’s dependence on other countries could be costly at this time.
“On the international level, the Ukraine conflict could threaten Nigeria’s food security situation. Nigeria imports low quality wheat to Russia and other countries around the Black Sea. bread, noodles and biscuits.
An economist, who did not want to be named because he was not authorized to speak, said wheat numbers in Nigeria were driven by volumes and were of no value, but noted that the Russia-Ukraine crisis could see a decline in imports. in Nigeria