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Nigerians can eat a balanced diet for ₦1,035 per day - NBS

Fruits and vegetables are the most expensive food groups in terms of price per calorie.

Nigerians can eat a balanced diet for ₦1,035 per day - NBS

The NBS revealed this in its CoHD report for April 2024 released on Wednesday in Abuja. The bureau said the CoHD in April increased by 5.4% compared to the ₦982 recorded in March.

The NBS said the CoHD was the least expensive combination of locally available items that met globally consistent food-based dietary guidelines. It said it was used as a measure of physical and economic access to healthy diets.

“This is a lower bound (or floor) of the cost per adult per day excluding the cost of transportation and meal preparation.”

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The bureau said that to compute the CoHD indicator, the following data on Retail Food Prices, Food Composition Data, and Healthy Diet Standards were required.

The NBS also said that in April, the average CoHD was highest in the South-West at ₦1,406 per adult per day, followed by the South- East at ₦1,190 per day. It said the lowest average CoHD was recorded in the North-West at ₦781 per adult per day.

The NBS further said that at the state level, Ekiti, Ogun and Osun recorded the highest CoHD at ₦1,483, ₦1,447, and ₦1,417, respectively. The bureau said Kogi and Katsina recorded the lowest CoHD at ₦709, followed by Kaduna and Nasarawa at ₦756 and ₦769, respectively.

The NBS said CoHD had steadily increased since the first CoHD report by the bureau in October 2023.

“The CoHD in April 2024 is 40% higher than what was recorded in October 2023 at ₦703 and 5% higher than CoHD in Mach 2024, which was ₦982.

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“The food groups that have driven the increases in CoHD the most are vegetables, starchy staples, and legumes, nuts and seeds. The cost of meeting the recommendations for oil and fats have changed the least since March 2024”

The report added that animal-source foods were the most expensive food group recommendation to meet in April, accounting for 36% of the total CoHD to provide 13% of the total calories. It noted that fruits and vegetables were the most expensive food groups in terms of price per calorie.

“They accounted for 11% and 16%, respectively, of the total CoHD while providing only 7% and 5% of total calories in the Healthy Diet Basket.

“Legumes, nuts and seeds were the least-expensive food group on average, at 6% of the total cost.’’

The report also says that in recent months, the CoHD had risen faster than general inflation and food inflation.

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“However, the CoHD and the food Consumer Price Index (CPI) are not directly comparable.

“The CoHD includes fewer items and is measured in Naira per day, while the food CPI is a weighted index.”

The NBS said the policy implications of these results would foster collaboration among a wide range of stakeholders, such as policymakers, researchers and civil society actors that focus on food security.

“These stakeholders will devise strategies that tackle access, availability, and affordability of healthy diet effectively.

“Also future research incorporating income can also be used to determine the proportion and number of the population that are unable to afford a healthy diet,” the report said.

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