Rice has remained one of the most consumed staple foods in Nigeria, but a bag of it has also remained something an entire minimum wage of 18,000 Naira may not buy.

A reduction in price of the staple food will be a delight to Nigerians.

Local rice is one thing Nigerians take their eyes away from. So many people enjoy the fresh taste of destoned and well refined local rice, but the price has kept them away, leaving them at the mercy of imported rice that even the government said was poisonous.

Taraba State is one of the states that production of local rice happen in Nigeria and the residents are feeling lucky that the price has dropped significantly in some major markets in Jalingo, Taraba’s capital city.

At Gadar Bobboji, Kasuwan Bera and Mile Six Markets, survey showed current market prices have dropped by about 27%.

A measure of local rice sold between 650 Naira and 750 Naira, 2 to 3 weeks ago, is now between 480 Naira and 550 Naira.

Similarly, a bag of local rice sold between 28, 000 Naira and 30, 000 Naira 2 to 3 weeks ago is now between 23, 000 Naira and 24, 000 Naira.

What had triggered the downturn?

The law of demand and supply is playing out in the state.

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The leader of rice sellers at Gadar Bobboji Market, Nura Mohammed, attributed the price decrease to availability of the commodity in the market.

He told the News Agency of Nigeria that the bumper harvest recorded by farmers in the state had contributed to the increase in supply.

Mohammed predicted that the price could drop further ahead of the Yuletides if the current supply of rice to the market was sustained.

However, while the price of local rice is decreasing, the price of foreign rice has slightly increased in the markets.

A measure of foreign rice which costs 950 Naira 2 weeks ago is now selling at 1, 000 Naira, while a 50kg bag of foreign rice has gone up from 18, 500 Naira to 19, 000 Naira.

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Supply of foreign rice to the state had dropped because of the increase in supply of local rice which is healthier.  

The drop in price is coming days after the government projected that a bag of local rice will sell for as low as 6,000 Naira soon.

Rice farming and processing is one area Nigeria still needs investments in and the government is supporting self-sufficiency drive by 2018 with loan to farmers under a Central Bank Scheme for rice and wheat farmers.

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