Bread scarcity impacts Kaduna, Katsina, and Kano

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An acute scarcity of one of Nigeria’s most popular staple foods, bread, has struck Kaduna, Katsina, and Kano States, creating a dire situation for residents.

Reports from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reveal that bread has become as rare as petrol or even gold in these states. As the availability of bread plummets, its prices have skyrocketed.

Many residents can no longer afford bread and have had to turn to other alternatives like noodles, millet porridge, and bean cake. The prices of bread have surged by 20 to 40 percent, exacerbating the situation.

Shop owners and consumers have expressed their frustration, urgently calling for action to address the scarcity.

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One anonymous baker in Kaduna explained to NAN, “We are not on strike, but we had to stop production on July 1, 2024. This was due to the scarcity and high cost of wheat flour, sugar, oil, and other additives. In June, a 50kg bag of flour cost between N53,000 and N55,000. Now it costs between N67,000 and N70,000. How can we produce bread and still break even under these conditions?”

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The scarcity has disrupted businesses and daily lives. Haidar Basiru, a tea and bread seller, lamented, “I usually buy 100 loaves of bread, but due to the scarcity, I could only get 30 loaves, which sold out quickly. The bakeries say they are on strike because of the hike in flour and sugar prices. This has severely affected our morning and evening operations.”

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Similarly, Mrs. Kafayat Sadiq, a provisions seller, said she hasn’t been able to stock bread since Tuesday because her supplier couldn’t cope with the high flour costs.

Resident Abdullahi Muhammad shared his frustration, “I went to buy bread for breakfast, but there was none. I had to buy spaghetti for the children instead. I hope this issue is resolved soon.”

In Funtua, Katsina State, prices have doubled. “A loaf of bread that used to sell for N200 now goes for N400, affecting all sizes of bread,” said Aliyu Idris. Tea sellers and shop owners are struggling to get enough bread to meet customer demand.

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In Kano State, the situation is similarly grim. Haruna Salisu reported, “A loaf of bread that used to sell for N600 now costs N800. Sliced bread that was N1200 now sells for N1600.”

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The bread scarcity has highlighted the urgent need for intervention to stabilize prices and ensure the availability of this crucial staple food.

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