inflationary pressures

Nigeria: Climate change is driving the cost of jollof rice

By Ruth Olurounbi

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Posted on December 3, 2021 17:30

A food vendor prepares “jollof rice”, a traditional meal often made using chicken, in the northern city of Kano
A food vendor prepares a traditional meal of “jollof rice”, city of Kano, Nigeria. Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde (NIGERIA)

“I do not think anyone in Nigeria needs persuading of the need for urgent action on the environment. Desertification in the north, floods in the centre, pollution and erosion on the coast are enough evidence. For Nigeria, climate change is not about the perils of tomorrow, but what is happening today,” President Muhammadu Buhari said during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in October. And today means Nigerians are finding it increasingly hard to afford basic food items.

As Christmas and end of the year festivities roll in, Nigerians are starting to fear that they may be unable to afford a pot of their favourite meal – jollof rice. A September 2021 survey of Jollof Index by the SBM Intelligence shows that the cost of making a pot of jollof rice for a family of five remains high across the country.

Jollof rice index

In September, a pot of jollof rice cost about 5% more to make – on average – at N8007.50 ($19.41), compared with an average cost of N7,618 ($18.47) in Q2. In Nyanya, a satellite town of Abuja, the nation’s capital, the cost rose to N10,050.

However, according to Temiloluwa Anjonri, food prices have since gone up. “One kilogram of rice that I bought at N1,500 now sells at N2,000, and that’s just rice. We haven’t added other commodities like peppers, oil and even chicken. Don’t even get me started on chicken. I bought a kilo and a half of

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