Africa to face spikes in food prices with global warming – Report

A report by the European Central Bank and some scientists has predicted that food prices and inflation rates would skyrocket globally due to global warming and heatwaves, with Africa and South America likely to be the worst-hit continents.

The researchers warned that changing climate conditions could drive up food prices by 3.2 per cent in a year and put “persistent upward” pressure on inflation in the coming decades.

“We find this strong evidence that higher temperatures, particularly in the summer or in places that are hot, cause price increases mainly in food inflation but also in overall inflation.

“In those places in the northern hemisphere – mainly in the summer – that’s where those things will mainly happen. Whereas in the rest of the world, it will be more spread out across the year,” one of the researchers, Maximilian Kotz, was reported to have told AFP.



    The ICIR reported that heat stress is already affecting farming in Nigeria, pushing farmers, especially those in the poultry sector, out of business and leading to a hike in the cost of poultry products.

    Some farmers who recounted their experiences to The ICIR said that beyond the harm caused directly to the birds by the unfavourable weather conditions, heat stress forced farmers to explore other means of protecting their crops and animals, which, in most cases, increases production costs by a wide margin.

    “We are spending a lot of money to save our birds through these mechanisms, like diesel. Every day, we consume N20,000 worth of diesel to save our birds from dying.

    “We have to turn on the generators to power the fans, foggers and sprinklers. The profits that we are supposed to gain, we put back into the poultry. So we are not getting that much profit because of the extra expenses. If you don’t have any way to protect your birds from the heat, you can lose all of your birds in one day,” a poultry farmer Zayyanu Abubakar, said.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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