In the complexities of Nigerian economic policies there have been series of changes and shifts in its monetary policies, most importantly the redesigned Naira and also the recent announcement by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on extending the deadline for acceptance of old banknotes. According to the recent findings of FarmingFarmersFarms, the new government, led by President Bola Tinubu, chose to extend the legal tender of the old currency indefinitely, aiming to align with international best practices and ensure economic stability.
This decision to indefinitely extend the acceptance of old banknotes brings forth questions about its impact on the economy, most especially, the food security aspect. This article, addresses this extension to look into the heart of Nigeria’s economic landscape and explore its potential consequences on various sectors, particularly the agricultural food production sector. One of the key indicators of the economic aspect is the inflation rate, a metric that holds significant sway over the agricultural sector. Though, the monetary policy cannot impact the inflation rate individually, but as one of the major reasons for naira redesign was for it to aid in lowering the Nigerian inflation rate (CBN, 2022) rather the country’s inflation is on the rise month after month.
Recent statistics provided by the CBN, indicated that the inflation rates for the months of August, September, and October 2023 show a steady rise. The year-on-year changes in the inflation rates for “All Items”, “Food”, and “All Items Less Farm Produce and Energy”, highlight the challenges faced by the economy. The inflation rates for food items have seen a notable increase, reaching 31.52% in October. This surge in food prices has direct implications for the agricultural food production sector, affecting both farmers and consumers. The rising cost of production, influenced by inflation, poses challenges for farmers in acquiring essential inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, and equipment.
Farmers, being the backbone of the agriculture sector, are directly impacted by changes in monetary policies and inflation rates. Fluctuating inflation rates can disrupt the income and livelihoods of farmers, affecting their ability to sustain and expand agricultural activities. The increased cost of production can lead to a decrease in profit margins for farmers, potentially hindering their capacity to invest in modern farming techniques and technologies. Beyond the agriculture sector, the impact of monetary policies and inflation rates extends to consumers and, by extension, food security. Rising food prices affect the purchasing power of consumers, leading to changes in spending patterns and potential food insecurity. The government’s decision to extend the legal tender of old banknotes indefinitely adds an additional layer of complexity to consumer behaviour and financial transactions.