The National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, on Monday said that the price of yam increased in June, amid exportation of the foodstuff to Europe.
Data released by the bureau for June 2017 , tagged ‘Selected Food Price Watch’ revealed that the average price of 1 kilogram of yam tuber increased by 32.84 per cent between June 2016 and June 2017.
Similarly, there was a 4.62 per cent increase in the price of the product between May and June, as the price of 1 kilogram of yam jumped to N292.06 from N279.15 in May.
The development came after the Nigerian government began to export yams to Europe and the United States, as part of moves to diversify its oil-dependent economy and earn much-needed foreign exchange.
Agriculture minister, Audu Ogbeh, who flagged off the first consignment of the fibrous tuber from the port in June, said, “Oil and gas cannot employ millions of people just like agriculture so we must work hard to move from oil to earning foreign exchange from agriculture.”
“To make yam competitive, we will work on the packages and the right types of trucks to be used for transportation of the produce,” he had added.
Nigeria accounts for 61 per cent of the world’s total yam output, according to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, and Mr. Ogbeh said not all of it was consumed, leading to waste.
But many Nigerians had expressed fears about the policy, saying it could hit consumers in the pocket, especially in the midst of food shortages in conflict-hit parts of the northeast and food inflation pegged around 20 per cent.
PREMIUM TIMES on Monday reported that the NBS disclosed that the inflation rate dropped to 16.10 per cent in June from the 16.25 per cent recorded in May.
But despite the drop, prices of foodstuffs including yam, tomato, and others remained high.
Further analysis of the report showed that the average price of 1 kilogram of tomato increased by 9.74 per cent between June 2016 and 2017, and by 10.39 per cent between May and June, 2017 – as price jumped to N375.00 from N339.72.
The average price of 1 kilogram of imported high quality rice increased by 23.56 per cent between June 2016 and 2017; and by 1.29 per cent between May and June, 2017.
Also, the average price of 1 dozen of Agric eggs medium size increased 35.42 per cent between June 2016 and 2017; and decreased by 1.54 per cent to N514.66 in June 2017 from N522.71 in May 2017.