The Ebonyi State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr. Moses Nomeh, has attributed the high cost of rice in the market to the increased cost of production, owing to the rising input cost.
According to data compiled by Nairalytics – the research arm of Nairametrics, during its Household Market Survey in October, the price of a 50kg local bag of rice which sold for N21,750 as of November 26, 2019, sold for N29,750 three weeks ago- 36.8% higher.
Mr. Nomeh, who is the Agriculture Commissioner of one of the key rice-producing states in Nigeria, disclosed in Abakaliki on Wednesday, that farmers are not to be blamed for the persistent increase in the price of staple food items in the country, especially rice.
According to the news report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr. Nomeh asserted that the cost of production, which covers inputs such as labor, hiring of machinery, land, and herbicides has increased tremendously.
Therefore, as it is imperative to make profits or at least break-even, the farmers had to increase the price of rice to compensate for the persistent increase in the costs of production.
What they are saying
Commenting on this development, the Commissioner said, “Farmers are not to blame for the increase in the cost of rice; the cost of production has doubled, don’t forget also that farmers must make small profits.
“They are business people too, they must factor in the cost of production to the final cost of the product. The business will crumble if such is not done.”\
However, in defense of the consumers, Mr. Nomeh said, “Every consumer wants maximum satisfaction from their money, our farmers have to bear this in mind as business people.”
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