Nigerians spend as much as N25.2bn on feeding themselves on a daily basis according to a recent report released by NOI Polls on Monday, June 9, 2014.
The report stated that about 80% of Nigerians which is about 140 million of the nation’s population of 175 million spend at least $1 which is about N160 on food daily. This amounts to N22.4bn while the remaining 35 million people spend an average of half a dollar which is approximately N80 amounting to N2.8bn per day making a total average daily food spend of N25.2bn by the country’s general population.
Going by these figures, all the food consumed in the country in one year sums up to about N9.2tn, of which 14% of this which amounts to about N1.3tn is imported. This is an opportunity for massive investment for investors who are expected to seize the opportunities in food businesses.
The vice president of the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), Orimadegun Agboade stated that investors ought to be alarmed at this rate of food consumption in Nigeria.
‘’It is a good time for investors to come and tap into the food industry. But there are challenges because these food investors may not be able to provide food that would be cheap enough for the masses but i still believe investors need to explore these possibilities,’’ said Agboade.
Industry watchers also said that the efforts of the government to reduce importation and increase domestic food production in recent years have been having a massive positive effect on the economy in terms of new businesses and creation of about 1.8 million jobs.
This according to analyst has led to about 70% of the nation’s population growing their own food, leaving about 30% to be served by the domestic formal sector and imports.
A United Nations report revealed that almost N20bn worth of the food consumed by this 70% of the country’s population, which is about 122 million people; produce their food through subsistence farming.
Crops such as vegetables, yam and cassava are produced by these Nigerian for garri, akpu, fufu and elubo production as well as livestock such as local chicken and goats.
Most of the people, particularly in the rural areas are involved in fishing. What they produce may not meet globally acceptable levels of feeding requirements, but these prevent them from dying of hunger.
About half of the remaining N5bn from the estimated N25bn worth of food is traded informally.
According to analysts, players in the formal sector who want to tap into this massive food market should explore ways of increasing the current food production output, storage, processing and supply of the food produced within the country in very cost-efficient ways because a very huge market exists for hygienically produced food, supplied with convenience to over 50 million people who buy the food they consume.