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AFEX suggests Nigerian agriculture suffers from data gaps

Higher prices were forecasted across all commodities in the report despite the growth in production levels. (Image source: AFEX)

According to a new report by commodities exchange firm AFEX, Nigeria’s core grain prices have been projected to trend upwards in the new season due to persistent gaps between commodity supply and demand

AFEX’s annual crop production report seeks to provide robust market intelligence for the many key players in the agricultural value chain, with the data also being used to produce forecasts of area, yield, production, value and stock for major crop products. The report provides insight into the top concerns faced by farmers, showing that access to finance, inputs and quality seeds remain major challenges.

The AFEX 2021 crop production report was developed by surveying over 10,000 farmers and tracking market prices across over 200 markets in Nigeria.

Higher prices were forecasted across all commodities in the report despite the growth in production levels. This was due to increased production levels not being significant enough to surmount demand pressures across commodity value chains. The report highlights maize as being the most vulnerable to demand pressures due to a 3% increase in production levels over that of the previous year, falling way below the demand gap for the commodity.

Speaking on the importance of the report for the agricultural sector, AFEX chief operating officer, Akinyinka Akintunde, said, “A lack of data in the sector leads to less-than-optimal decisions, resulting in productivity losses, agricultural income losses, and eventually increased hunger and poverty.

"Agriculture suffers from significant data gaps, harming millions of the world's poorest people. The situation is particularly challenging in sub-Saharan Africa, where nearly half of nations lack comprehensive data on the industry and farmers. Data will aid in informing insight-driven policies aimed at increasing production levels."

Reiterating Akinyinka's position, the report also advised that Africa should prioritise developing a food balance sheet as a necessary first step toward achieving food security across the continent.

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