The price of Nigerian grown wheat has risen by 33 per cent due to the low production volumes of the product.
The rise in the cost of wheat may lead to increase in the prices of bread and other pastries. Wheat is the major raw material for flour used in baking.
It was gathered from the Wheat Growers Association of Nigeria that the projected price of the product was N180,000 per metric tonne at the beginning of the planting season.
However, due to the COVID-19 containment measures that affected the harvest process and led to the loss of the product by farmers, the price had increased to N240,000 per metric tonne.
The President of the association, Salim Muhammad, who spoke with The PUNCH explained that the spread of the coronavirus started during the harvest period of wheat planted by farmers.
“We set a price of N180,000 per metric tonne but the market demand raised the price to N240,000 per metric tonne, which the off-takers are not willing to accept,” Muhammad explained.
According to him, the inability of farmers to harvest products on time led to losses.
He added that farmers were unable to meet market demand for the product.
Muhammad said, “The virus started spreading during our harvest period and it could not allow farmers to have access to their farms due to restriction in movement and lockdown.
“It did not allow the farmers to get the labour they needed because of the social gathering restriction put in place.”
He explained that birds, insects and the weather had destroyed some of the ripe wheat that couldn’t be harvested on time.
“The farmers who were able to harvest successfully did not have access to market because of the lockdown,” Muhammad said.