The coronavirus has become the number one priority for all governments. In Nigeria, the COVID-19 Presidential Task Force is getting more face time with the President than any other ministry or minister could get before the pandemic.
Despite being a health issue, the impact has been felt across all spheres. One area is on food. Specifically, its availability and price.
Even before lockdowns were implemented, the anticipation led to panic buying and price increases. We all heard about the hand sanitiser prices, but essential food items like garri, rice, and tomatoes increased by as high as 120% across major markets in different states.
In Nigeria, 31% of households suffer from food shortages, mostly due to high prices. So these increases put many at risk.
As food prices become pressured by lockdowns, countries have started taking precautionary steps. Some governments are now restricting exports to retain enough supplies for their population.