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Why Prices Of Bread Are High – Bakers

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The Premium Breadmakers Association of Nigeria (PBAN) has shed light on the escalating costs of bread in the country, citing exchange rate volatility and international conflicts as primary factors.

PBAN President, Emmanuel Onuorah, detailed these issues during an appearance on Arise News’ Global Business Report on Tuesday.

Onuorah explained that the instability of the Nigerian currency and its impact on the cost of imported materials necessary for bread production are major contributors to the rising prices.

“Most of the raw materials used in the production of bread are imported, and the fluctuating exchange rate significantly affects the prices of these essential inputs,” he stated.

Further complicating the economic landscape for breadmakers in Nigeria is the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, both of which are significant wheat suppliers to Nigeria.

The war has disrupted wheat supplies, thereby exacerbating the challenges faced by bread producers in managing costs and maintaining supply.

The rise in bread prices not only affects the breadmaking industry but also impacts the average Nigerian consumer for whom bread is a staple food.

Onuorah said, “Bread is a staple. Bread is supposed to be a pick-and-grab food at any location. It’s on the table for the children.

“Bread is a spiritual product, outside of being physical because it does so much for humanity. As bakers, for us in Nigeria, it’s been tough for us.

“Some of the basic materials we use in producing our bread are imported into Nigeria, that is about almost 98 per cent and that’s the truth.

“In a country, where you almost don’t have a strong productive base, and at that, everything is dependent on the dollar. When there is volatility in dollar-naira exchange, when (there is) FX issue where naira begins to go down against the dollar, we are in a problem.”

Late last year, following the removal of fuel subsidies and other economic reforms by President Bola Tinubu, the country began to experience an increase in the prices of food and other commodities.

Consequently, in December 2023, Onuorah said prices would increase by 15 per cent to 20 per cent in January 2024 across Nigeria amid economic hardship, and checks by Vanguard showed that loaves of bread in Lagos from N400 have increased to N700, N700 before now sold at ₦1,100, while ₦1,100 rose to ₦1,1400.

Speaking further about the significance of bread prices to Nigerians, on Tuesday, Onuorah said, “The kind of bread we eat in Nigeria, there is a way Nigerians want their bread, the structure of the bread.

“You know we’re are the highest consumers of white bread globally. When you go to other places, they take croissants, they take baguettes, and other forms of bread.

“But, our bread (in Nigeria) comes in certain shapes. It must be sweet, it must be soft, and succulent. If you don’t produce it that way, you’re out of business.

“And this whole thing, 60 to 65 per cent of the whole thing comes from wheat, and most of our wheat comes from Ukraine, Russia, and other parts of the world.”

is an Associate at Naija News. He is a news media enthusiast, he holds a degree in psychology and loves exploring and sharing about the enormous power that lies in the human mind. Email: [email protected], Instagram: adeniyidman

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