NIGERIA – AFEX, Nigeria’s leading commodities market player, has forecasted a decline in production levels of key grains and cereals during the 2022 wet season, triggering a rise in prices.

The report, which seeks to provide accurate and reliable data to aid the understanding of the national food system through farmer surveys and measurement of transaction-level data, revealed an average decline in production levels of up to 11.5% across commodities like maize, paddy rice, sorghum, and cocoa.

However, commodities like soybean and sesame are set to experience close to a 6.5% increase in production levels.

AFEX’s Head of Market Data and Research, David Ibidapo, who presented the findings, indicated, “AFEX’s annual crop production report seeks to provide robust market intelligence for agriculture value chain players in Nigeria.

“We have more than doubled the count of farmers surveyed for this research, up from 9117 farmers surveyed last year to 20,677 farmers surveyed for this year’s report.

He also specified key indicators measured through the survey, stating that, “Factors such as land usage, inputs (quality of seeds and fertilizer usage), weather conditions, and the farmers’ output expectations were put into primary consideration.”

This is in addition to the activities in the agricultural value chain and more significant macroeconomic global events such as the Russia-Ukraine crisis that has led to a hike in the price of fertilizer.

With Nigeria’s most consumed grains facing declining food balance sheets coupled with consumption levels rising faster, maize which faces a projected decline in production levels of up to 14%, is subsequently projected to reach a higher average price point ranging between US$486.72/MT and US$498.09/MT by the end of Q4 2022, compared to an average price of US$475.97/MT in Q4 2021.

Meanwhile, paddy rice as being the most susceptible to production and output pressures faces close to a 22.47% decline in production volumes this year in the wake of the crisis-induced fertilizer price hike.

To offset the balance, the West African country is expected to turn to importing the commodities, with USDA in a GAIN report forecasting importation of 50,000 metric tons (MT) of maize in 2022/2023 and 1.5 million metric tons (MT) of rice in the same season.

However, it is important to note that the government has banned the importation of the two commodities and restricted access to funds through the Importers and Exporters (I&E) window unless granted permission by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

For all the latest food industry news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel.