Climate change to drive food  inflation

Climate change to drive food inflation


By Daniel Essiet

 

The Country Manager, HarvestPlus Nigeria, Dr Paul Ilona  has warned  that  food inflation is going to persist  as  climate change continues to harm  food production.

Speaking with The Nation, Ilona said  drop in  crop  productivity  was being witnessed across the country  caused by changes in rainfall  and  higher temperatures.  He  said the country  would continue facing higher prices than the previous year due to supply and production bottlenecks as economic activity struggles to come back to normal.

He said while long-term climate change impacts were another pressure on food prices, short-term price spikes were likely due to extreme weather events.

According to him, the economy now struggles to cope with low growth and high inflation three  months after the COVID-19 pandemic restriction was lifted. He said efforts to reduce food inflation  will be based on a realistic assessment of the current economic situation and the feasible remedies.

Read Also: Five effects of climate change

 

According to him, high inflation would become a permanent feature of  the  economy, will  erode the living standards of the public and damage the long term prospect for  agric business. He recommended structural policies which can promote food production and boost  the economy over the long term.

Food inflation rose in August to 16.0 per cent, compared with 15.48 per cent in July, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said. Headline inflation, which includes the prices of food and other goods and services, grew to 13.22 per cent in the same month from 12.82 per cent in July. It is the highest in more than two years.

Recent sharp increases were  attributed to the coronavirus pandemic during which the government locked down the country. This rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of bread and cereals, potatoes, yam and other tubers, meat, fish, fruits, oils and fats, and vegetables,” according to the Bureau of Statistics’ composite food index.

The Central Bank has said inflation is likely to rise to up to 14.15 per cent at the end of December. If food inflation is excluded, the NBS said the rise in prices of other more stable goods, called core inflation, stood at 10.52 per cent in August 2020, compared with 10.10 per cent recorded in July 2020.

 



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