Report: 40% of Nigerians reduced their food quality in Q2 2021 – TheCable

SBM Intel, a geopolitical research firm, says 40 percent of Nigerians living below poverty line reduced the number of meals and food quality in the second quarter (Q2) of 2021 due to rise in food prices.
This is contained in its latest report on “Jollof Index Q2 2021: Food Prices Enter Geostationary Orbit”
The jollof index covers major food items used in making a pot of jollof rice such as rice, curry, thyme, seasoning cube, groundnut/vegetable oil, turkey/chicken, beef, other seasoning, pepper, tomatoes, salt and onions.
Food inflation has declined in recent months, from 22.95 percent to 22.72 percent in April and then to 22.28 percent in May.
Despite the decrease, prices of food items continue to surge across the country.
The firm says the increase is due to pastoral conflict, lack of proper storage facilities, volatile oil prices, climate change, rising cost of energy and logistics, stifling government policies, natural disasters, COVID-19 pandemic, and currency devaluation.
It said these factors have led to stagnant earnings, dwindling productivity, rising insecurity, and a growing concern about food shortages.
According to the report, the average price of cooking Jollof across Nigeria increased by nearly 100 percent between July 2016 and June 2021.
It shows that the average cost of cooking a pot of jollof rice for the average Nigerian family stood at N7,124 in March but has increased by 6.93 percent in a space of three months to N7,618 in June.
“The increased food prices coupled with a high unemployment rate speaks of the growing misery index of Nigerians and declining ability to purchase food,” the report reads.
“This begs the question, how do 40.1% Nigerians who were already below the poverty line before the Pandemic purchase food considering the exacerbating effect of the Coronavirus?
“This group of Nigerians, who live below the poverty line, have reduced their number of meals and food quality.”
SBM said most of the 40.1 percent Nigerians could no longer afford three square meals but had one whole meal daily coupled with snacks.
It also said other major household food items surged significantly such as garri, egusi, beans, and palm oil, egg, plantain, yam, fish, pepper, and bread.
SBM advised the federal government to reverse unnecessary fixation on domestic food production, and rather prioritise the availability of cheap food, both locally produced and imported, and providing the support everyone needs to produce or bring in food.
It asked the federal government to remove the politicising of security and deal with it across Nigeria, especially in food producing areas of the country.
SBM further said the federal government needs to look urgently into the storage and infrastructure around food preservation and transportation in the country.
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