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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 13-June-2023


  1. Over 24.8 million people projected acutely food insecure in 2023

  2. Mixed performance of 2023 seasonal rains

  3. Cereal production in 2022 estimated at near‑average level

  4. Prices of cereals higher year‑on‑year

Over 24.8 million people projected acutely food insecure in 2023

According to the March 2023 “Cadre Harmonisé” (CH) analysis, over 24.8 million people are projected to face acute food insecurity (CH Phase 3 [Crisis] and above) between June and August 2023, including about 1.1 million people in CH Phase 4 (Emergency). In areas analysed in both 2022 and 2023, the prevalence of acutely food insecure people is expected to increase from 12‑14 percent.

Since over a decade, the country has been facing multiple security challenges, which is affecting food access. In the northeast, fighting between non‑state armed groups and military forces escalated in the first quarter of 2023, while in northwest and northcentral states, banditry, kidnapping and cattle rustling increased and expanded to new areas between March and May. Poor security conditions have severely disrupted markets and livelihoods, while persistent macroeconomic challenges have compounded food security conditions of vulnerable households.

Insecurity also continued to cause large population displacements. In April 2023, nearly 3.6 million people were estimated to be internally displaced, an increase of about 15 percent compared to the same period in 2022.

Humanitarian access constraints remain very high, in particular in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, where a major part of the people, expected to be in CH Phase 4 (Emergency), is located and several local government areas are totally or partially inaccessible.

Mixed performance of 2023 seasonal rains

The performance of the 2023 rainy season was mixed between March and May. In southern bimodal rainfall areas, seasonal rains had a timely onset and, in most parts, near‑average accumulated rainfall amounts favoured crop development. Harvesting of maize in southern areas is ongoing and is expected to conclude by August. In central areas, rains also started on time, but rainfall amounts received in May were below average in many parts. In northern areas, seasonal rains are expected to start in the weeks ahead. Despite constraints due to insecurity, which hampers farmers’ access to their fields, as well as limited financial access to agricultural inputs, land preparation and planting activities are underway.

Weather forecasts for the June to September period point to average to above average rainfall amounts in northern and northeastern areas. Western parts are likely to experience riverine flooding due to the high probability of above‑average rains in the Niger basin. Conversely, central and southern areas are at risk of below‑average rainfall.

Cereal production in 2022 estimated at near‑average level

The aggregate cereal production in 2022 is estimated at 30.2 million tonnes, near the previous year’s average level. Widespread floods in 2022 disrupted agricultural livelihoods across the country and caused significant crop losses. Assessments indicate that in 15 of the most flood‑affected states, about 768 000 hectares of farmland were destroyed. Furthermore, insecurity hampered agricultural activities and caused localized production shortfalls.

Prices of cereals higher year‑on‑year

Wholesale prices of locally produced millet and maize rose seasonally in March and April 2023 (latest available data), with the most pronounced increases recorded in markets located in the conflict‑affected areas, including the towns of Giwa and Maiduguri. Across the country, prices of millet in April were 5‑10 percent above their year‑earlier levels, while prices of maize were between 5 and 20 percent higher year‑on‑year. Wholesale prices of local sorghum showed mixed trends in recent months and were near their elevated year‑earlier levels in April.

Wholesale prices of locally produced rice generally increased in April. Despite the slightly above‑average domestic rice output in 2022, prices were 20‑35 percent higher year‑on‑year. By contrast, prices of imported rice decreased slightly in April, but they remained 30‑40 percent above their year‑earlier levels.

Food inflation increased steadily since early 2022 and reached an annual rate of 24.6 percent in April 2023. The high inflation level reflects market disruptions due to insecurity as well as elevated production and transport costs. High food prices were also supported by persistent shortages of cash and depreciation of the national currency (naira), in particular on the parallel market. In May, USD 1 was traded for NGN 745, compared to NGN 461 on the official market.

If the fuel subsidy would be removed, prices of food and other essential goods are expected to further increase due to higher costs of production and transport. The government’s announcement of its intention to remove the fuel subsidy has already driven panic‑buying and spikes in fuel prices.

Disclaimer: The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

This brief was prepared using the following data/tools:
FAO/GIEWS Country Cereal Balance Sheet (CCBS)

FAO/GIEWS Food Price Monitoring and Analysis (FPMA) Tool .

FAO/GIEWS Earth Observation for Crop Monitoring .

Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) .