Nigerian Grain Supply May Be Lower After Flooding, UN’s FAO Says

Torrential rains last year in Nigeria, the world’s biggest rice importer, may have a “significant impact” on the country’s crop and livestock supply, the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization said.

Almost 2 million hectares (4.94 million acres) of crop land, including rice, corn, sorghum, yam and cassava, in 14 states were lost during heavy rains and flooding from August to October, the Rome-based UN agency wrote today in a country report on its website. Rice and corn were the most affected. Cassava, which can be used to make a type of flour, is a crop Nigeria sought to expand to replace imported wheat. The west African country is the third-biggest buyer of U.S. wheat.

Field surveys by the Nigerian government during August and September, which estimated that the country’s grain production may increase about 5 percent from 2011, “did not take into account the full impact of the flooding,” the FAO said. About 5.7 million animals were killed, according to the report.

Grain markets are still “well supplied” in Nigeria and the sub region, and prices have declined, the FAO said. Corn dropped by more than 25 percent in October from a peak in May, before increasing slightly in November in the northern part of the country.

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