Food Inflation in Nigeria; The Way to Survival

Garri used to have a superpower in reducing the impact of poverty but, food inflation in Nigeria today is so high that many can no longer afford it.

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A shocking trend of food inflation has hit the country of over 200 million where a good number are now facing acute starvation. The trend of the increasing food inflation rate in Nigeria is not unconnected to the border closure policies of the Buhari administration. Also, the recent hasty petrol subsidy removal decision of the current administration has worsened the cost of living in Nigeria and food access seems the most impacted.

There is a saying especially among students in Nigeria that Garri should be added to the first aid box given how it always comes through for the poor and students in Universities but today food inflation in Nigeria is so high that the poor can no longer afford Garri.

Almost all Nigerians have stories where Garri was the undisputed hero but given how fast things have changed, the food is no longer as accessible as it used to be. If this can happen to Garri what do you think will happen to other food? Severe hunger looms in Nigeria as everything seems out of control. The food inflation rate in Nigeria is at an all-time high.

Executive Summary

This article discusses the rising food insecurity in Nigeria with a focus on the following:

  •  Causes of Food Inflation in Nigeria: The current food inflation is a product of subsidy removal, border closure, insecurity, population growth, and decreasing enthusiasm for farming in Nigeria.
  •  How to solve food insecurity in Nigeria: Solving food insecurity will take effective government policies and individual efforts, especially in farming.
  • How to solve food insecurity in Nigeria (The government): The government needs to temporarily reopen the borders while engaging in aggressive agricultural campaigns; supporting the farmers and engaging in agriculture as a government.
  • How to solve food insecurity in Nigeria; the role of the people (Individual Efforts): The people need to revive their passion for agriculture and get back to our farms 
  • Surviving Food Inflation in Nigeria: To survive food scarcity in the current reality, individuals need to shun non-essential expenditures and prioritize food, shelter, healthcare, basic clothing, and other crucial aspects of life like education. Stuff like non-essential parties, alcohol consumption, smoking, etc, needs to be foregone for the time being.
  • Prices of Food in Nigeria Today: A look at the current price of food today in Nigeria in comparison to earlier on in the year
  • Words of Encouragement for Nigerians in These Trying Times: It is a difficult time and we need to stay resilient and hopeful.
  • Conclusion: We all have a role to play; when all parties get intentional, things will take a turn for the better. Above all, we need to get back to agriculture.

Causes of Food Inflation in Nigeria

The causes of the increasing food inflation rate in Nigeria today can be traced to the huge population, decreasing interest in farming, insecurity, and government policies. Nigeria’s population growth is seemingly unsustainable, constant insecurity leading to farmer-herder clashes and of course, government policies are the primary causes of the current rising food inflation rate in Nigeria today.

Things don’t just happen, sometimes policies shape reality. Although there are sensible sides to closing Nigeria’s borders against food importation, the decision has proven to be ill-timed. The Jonathan administration invested a lot in agriculture and while the Buhari administration also did invest in agriculture, closing the border has proven counterproductive. Government policies need to reflect the reality of things.

With over 200 million citizens, Nigeria needs an elaborate approach to reach food sufficiency. Without heavily mechanized agriculture, food security is going to remain a challenge. These are things that the government could have considered before making the border closure decision. Nigeria is not a small country and agriculture is not as developed as it should be.

People need to take an active part in farming. Firms also need to step up food processing and packaging even if raw materials (food) have to be imported for the main time.

How to solve food insecurity in Nigeria

Solving food insecurity in Nigeria will take two approaches.

  1. Government intervention and
  2. Individual efforts
  • How to solve food insecurity in Nigeria (The government)

To solve food insecurity in Nigeria, the government needs to intervene in providing education, tools, and other resources necessary for an effective agricultural sector.

Also, there’s a need to make policies that will reflect food availability and encourage the population to patronize agriculture. It will also be appropriate for governments at different levels to engage in mechanized agriculture and empower firms to improve the overall agricultural industry and value chain.

How to solve food insecurity in Nigeria is not a very complex question to answer if some measures are taken quickly to reduce the current food scarcity. Solving Food Inflation in Nigeria today will take several approaches. First, it needs to be treated as a national emergency and possibly the borders should be temporarily reopened to food in-flow. At the same time, massive agricultural campaigns and incentives need to be put in place. With serious agricultural reform, solving food insecurity in Nigeria is possible.

  • How to solve food insecurity in Nigeria; the role of the people (Individual Efforts)

Solving food insecurity in Nigeria also has to do with how the people currently perceive and engage in agriculture. A lot of people in Nigeria perceive agriculture as an occupation for the poor and uneducated. Many are abandoning it for white-collar jobs. Even in our schools, students are not very enthusiastic about studying agricultural-related courses. The passion for agriculture needs to be revived. Families need to participate in the agricultural process and endeavor to inculcate values that promote agriculture in their children.

When more people engage in Agriculture, there would be enough to eat and even export. It is only through dedicated and intentional efforts towards reviving our Agricultural prowess that we can solve food insecurity in Nigeria.

  • Surviving food inflation in Nigeria

With the constant rise in the food inflation rate in Nigeria, several citizens are pondering how to survive the current reality. When it comes to surviving food inflation in Nigeria, different people are already taking extreme measures. Still, such measures are becoming counterproductive as people no longer care about balanced diets but eating anything to live.

Despite the harsh reality, there’s a need to be intentional about what to eat. Maintaining a balanced diet is important to avoid complicating individual and family health. Cheaper sources of nutrients need to be considered in the short term while elaborate plans to go back to the farm must be a long-term template. In several markets, people can no longer afford a tuber of yam; cutting the yams has become a reality. This doesn’t just apply to yam but several other food items have gone over the roof in price.

Prices of Food in Nigeria Today

To understand the food inflation rate in Nigeria more appropriately, one needs to examine the prices of food in Nigeria today and compare it to earlier times in the year. Earlier in the year (around January 2024) a cup of beans used to be sold for N120 (one hundred and twenty Naira) while a cup of rice was sold at about N150 (one hundred and fifty Naira).

The rate of food inflation in Nigeria today is such that by June 2024, a cup of beans is selling at N400 (four hundred Naira) while a cup of beans is sold at N350 (three hundred and fifty Naira) even gari that used to be the poor man’s food has risen from N70 (seventy Naira) a cup in January to N250 (two hundred and fifty Naira) by June. There’s an unimaginable food inflation rate in Nigeria today and no one knows what’s happening next. We can only hope it gets better but while at it, how can one survive?

Surviving food inflation in Nigeria is going to boil down to economics still from the look of things, there’s no guarantee that if nothing urgent is done everyone will survive.

Resilience is going to be crucial if we must get through this phase. Also, individuals need to review their priorities by ensuring that they have enough to eat before thinking about other nonessential pursuits.

With the rising prices of food in Nigeria today, people should prioritize, healthcare, food, and medications. Costly items that will not have immediate positive impacts should be left for later times. This includes buying very expensive smartphones, cars, clothing, and other costly items. Low-budget items should be prioritized so far as they are effective. Cutting down on the overall budget and increasing food, medication, simple clothing, and shelter budgets seems like a good approach to the current hardship in the country.

It is understood that with the prices of food in Nigeria today, food rations in homes are becoming a reality. While food ration may generally become smaller, we recommend always ensuring that the little food eaten contains the required nutrients by the body. Water isn’t even spared in the current economic hardship in Nigeria. A bag of sachet water that sold for N200 in January now sells for N350 in June. Despite the high cost of water, it is recommended that individuals drink a sufficient amount of water daily.

Non-essential expenditure must be avoided. Depending on individual income, reconsidering excessive alcohol consumption may be a crucial step towards saving more for food and other more important things, excessive partying also needs to be reconsidered. Other unhealthy habits like smoking, and drug abuse need to be stopped. It is important to have substantial savings for emergencies; financial responsibility is very crucial in these moments of distress.

Words of Encouragement for Nigerians in these trying times

With a lot going on, Nigerians are going through some emotional and psychological episodes. It should be important for people to understand that at the rate things are going, being able to feed yourself or your family is a big achievement. Buying a car, building a house, or even wearing designer clothes are amazing but if you can feed yourself in the present economy you are doing amazingly great.

Even those who are struggling to feed at the moment, we can assure you that you will pull through, we don’t know exactly how that will happen but you have to hang on to hope. Also, those who can should go back to the farm as in the end, only local food production can ensure food security for all.


In times of distress, we may understand that survival is not the product of extreme intelligence but the ability to evolve necessity or adapt to reality. The current hardship in Nigeria has reached an overwhelming stage but even as the future seems bleak, something can be done. We have recommended proactive measures by individuals, organizations, and governments at different levels.

There is no easy way out but perhaps the government may consider reopening all of Nigeria’s borders to food imports things may turn around for the better. Also, governments, corporations, organizations, and individuals need to engage in massive agricultural production. The good thing about agriculture is that it doesn’t always require a sophisticated approach and Nigerian soil is fertile.

We must also understand that even if appropriate measures are put in place, it will still take a reasonable amount of time before the current food inflation in Nigeria is brought under control. We can only remain hopeful that soon everything will get better, but while at it, we have to stay strong and approach farming with zeal because it is the surest way out of the current food insecurity in Nigeria.

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