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Market Analysis: Nigeria Rice And Maize Production Increased in 2021

In an article, Premium Times explains that there’s been some marginal improvement in key food production across Nigeria. According to data from the United States Department of Agriculture, Nigeria's Rice production increased from the old 4.89 million metric tonnes to a new height of 5.0 million metric tonnes in 2021.

Also experiencing this increase is production of Maize which rose 10 million metric tonnes from 2020 to 11.6 million metric tonnes in 2021.

Nonetheless, the sector suffered its own fair share of setbacks including climate change-related issues like drought, irregular rainfall and flooding. Insecurity was one of the major problems that plagued food production in 2020 as farmers across the country had issues getting to their farms.

In a March 2021 Statement by the CBN governor, he mentioned that the rising insecurity across the country may be the reason behind rising inflation rates due to a surge in food inflation. The government of Nigeria at Federal and State level however have launched various security initiatives ranging from armed forces deployment to local and rural vigilantes.

Despite these setbacks, it is interesting that production figures got to these heights for rice and maize. Some attributed this to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the challenges from the pandemic may have encouraged more people to head back to the farms.

It’s possible that the ban on food importation (now lifted) gave farmers new incentives to produce more since the increased demand ensured they were able to command better prices for their products. However, it is not very clear the source of the production surge. What is clear, is that the economy will benefit from a sustained increase in production across key food value chains.

For 2022, the regional (West Africa) outlook is looking good for maize production. Maize production is expected to increase from last year, while rice production will remain stable. Knowing that Nigeria is a major producer of both key crops, it means that Nigerian farmers are likely to account for the majority of the surge in Maize this year.

Governments, institutions, farmers and other agri-business stakeholders should look at the year as a clean slate and key into initiatives that support farmers to improve their yield through technology.

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All of these help the farmer maximise the little fixed and variable resources they may have, like land, input, credit etc. All of these help farmers in our network continue to increase their production year after year, all things being equal.

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