“No be beans” now reality in Buhari economy
“No be beans” is a popular slang among everyday Nigerians to mean things are not particularly easy but there can be breakthrough. This is evident in the pattern in which Nigerians work hard to make jagged ends meet in defiance of the label of being the world’s multidimensional poverty capital.
Literally, beans is a popular staple food in Nigeria. It used to be an affordable source of protein, fiber, iron, and vitamins that offer many health benefits. Doctors and Nutritionist prescribe it to be included in meals for patients whose health situations require rapid tissue healing. Yes ,that is how great beans is.
Beans could be eaten as ‘akara’, ‘moin moin’ , ‘gbegiri’ and a variety of other meals that is made from it. It comes in different colours and used to be the most affordable of meals among the poor. Not anymore. The staple food may not be within the reach of people who cannot cough out thousands to afford it. That is the sad situation .
Presently, a bag of brown beans costs ₦100,000. Same kilogram sold within the range of ₦85,000 and ₦88,000 last week, indicating a surge of over 17%.
According to the recent market survey by Nairametrics databank, “the price of beans has increased by 140.96% year-to-date from ₦41,500 recorded as of December 2020 to sell for an average of ₦100,000 in Lagos. A further analysis, reveals the highly demanded food item has increased by 203% compared to the corresponding period of 2020.
In the same vein, Nigeria’s consumer price index report shows that the food index rose by 20.3% in August 2021, representing a decline compared to 21.03% recorded in the previous month. It is worth noting that Nigeria’s food index has maintained double-figure growth since June 2015. The galloping rate of food inflation has been attributed to a series of events that have further dampened the government’s effort towards food sufficiency in the country. These events include insecurity, border closure, disruption in the supply chain, infrastructural problem, amongst others.”
In March 2021 and July 2021, a bag of brown beans sold for ₦34,750 and ₦51,000 respectively. Beans was retailed between ₦444.21 and ₦585.43 per kilogram.
Nigerians are beginning to react to this recent increase . Beans dealers offer reasons for the cause of the sudden rise.
One of the reasons was sai to be due to low inventories at the market and a surge in transport cost. They explained that due to the increase in transport cost, the suppliers are forced to bring in stocks only once in two months, causing a hex of cost-push and demand-pull inflation.
Insecurity was a reason too. They suggested that the insecurity ravaging the northern region of the country is the lead problem.
Beans is planted on a large scale during the dry season in Northern Nigeria. It takes between 60-80days to mature. When harvested ,dealers buy to keep in storages where it can last 6 months or more , depending on sales demand. The insecurity in the North has made thousands of farmers abandon their farms. This may imply that Nigerians are yet to experience the real spike.
The next time anyone goes to price beans in the market, I am certain they would exclaim “no be beans o”.