Despite warnings of impending food scarcity due to the flooding across several parts of Nigeria and herdsmen/farmers clashes that impeded food production within this year, food prices have largely remained stable, seeing a major decline in some instances.

A Bounce News food price review across select markets in Lagos showed that major stables such as rice, beans and garri have all dropped in prices.

The decline in prices started later this month, according to the survey.

For instance, a 50KG of local rice which sold for 16,500 between August and greater part of October now goes for between 15,000 and 15,500 naira as at the end of October.

Meanwhile the price of a 50KG imported foreign rice has remained unchanged at between 15,000 and 16,500 naira depending on the grade.

For the king of starch, garri, a 50KG dropped from 6,000 naira in early October to 5,500 by month end. This has seen the price of a paint unit drop from 500 naira to 450 naira.

As for the queen of protein, beans prices have also remained stable at 2,000 naira per paint.

This is in complete contrast with what played out this period in 2017, when price almost more than doubled, and a paint bucket of the much sought-after honey beans sold for 4,000 naira.

A painter of white beans goes for 1,500 naira while brown beans sold for 1,700 naira as at the end of October, the rate they have been sold since August.

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On the meat segment, prices also remained largely stable as one kilogram of beef still goes for 1,500 naira; one kilogram of chicken, 1,200 naira and 1 kilogram of fish, 1000 naira.

But on the vegetable segment, tomato prices are on downward spiral as the rainy season wades into off peak period when vegetable supply floods the market.

A hand bowl of fresh tomato comprising of at least 7 averaged sized tomatoes now sells for between 250 and 300 naira, against the 400-naira price tag it had throughout August and September.

A food seller who spoke to Bounce News attributed the decline in food prices to the softening stance of customs on importation of rice and other food commodities.

According to the dealer, a change in leadership at the customs has brought about lower tariffs for imported rice commodities.

Meanwhile, this would also be interpreted to mean that incidences of smuggling are on the rise.

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