Finance

Cocoa, sesamum seed, cashew nut tops Nigeria’s agric export


Nigeria’s agricultural export surged by 57.02% to N504.9 billion in 2021 compared to N321.5 billion recorded in the previous year, which is also the highest agro-export income on record.

This is according to data extracted from the National Bureau of Statistics’ foreign trade report for the year.

However, Nigeria imported agro-food items valued at N1.97 trillion in the same year, resulting in a deficit of N1.46 trillion. This is despite significant interventions and investments channelled into the Nigerian agricultural sector.

Nigeria recorded its highest agricultural trade deficit in 2021, triggering a N1.94 trillion negative balance in the review year as Nigeria’s import bill surged to N20.8 trillion as against an export value of N18.9 trillion. This means that Agriculture trade deficit accounts for 74.3% of Nigeria’s trade imbalance.

CBN interventions in Agric sector

The Nigerian federal government through the CBN has disbursed a sum of N975.61 billion to over 4.52 million smallholder farmers who cultivate about 21 agro commodities across the country for the procurement of inputs and cultivation of maize, rice, and wheat under its Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).

Also, the CBN disbursed about N735.17 billion to finance 671 large-scale agricultural projects in agro-production and agro-processing. Between January and February 2022, the apex bank also disbursed N19.15 billion to finance 5 large-scale agricultural projects.

TOP AGRO EXPORT IN 2021

Coco beans – N209.9 billion

  • Nigeria exported cocoa beans worth N209.89 billion in 2021, accounting for 41.6% of the total export earnings by Nigeria in the year under review. A further breakdown of the data from the NBS showed that Nigeria exported superior quality raw cocoa beans worth N37.42 billion while export of well-fermented cocoa beans was stated at N209.9 billion.
  • Cocoa is a small perennial tree crop that primarily comes from the three tropical regions in the world; Southeast Asia, Latin America, and West Africa. Cote d’Ivoire is the single largest producer of cocoa beans, accounting for approximately 31% of the world’s supply.

Sesamum seeds – 113.2 billion

  • Sesamum seed export increased in 2021 was stated at N113.2 billion, which is higher than the N98.27 billion recorded in the previous year. Sesamum seed export accounted for 22.4% of our total export in the period.
  • Sesame seed comes from a flowering plant mostly grown in Northern Nigeria due to the drought-resistant nature of the seed.
  • It has many uses, but perhaps, its most important use is as a source of sesame oil which is the most demanded vegetable oil in the world because of its zero-cholesterol content.
  • Nigeria has been one of the highest sesame seed-producing countries over the years, making the seed an important component of the country’s agricultural export.

Cashew nuts – N72.8 billion

  • Nigeria exported cashew nuts worth N72.8 billion in 2021, representing 14.4% of our total export value. The disaggregated data shows that N55.6 billion of the total was generated from the export of in-shell cashew nuts, while shelled cashew nuts was N17.2 billion.
  • Cashew is a tree crop that has been cultivated for food and medicine for many years. The various parts of the cashew fruits are of economic value, which includes apple, nut, and kernel.
  • The primary product of cashew nuts is the kernel, which is the edible portion of the nut. Kernels are used for various end products, which include chocolates, ice creams, cakes, sweets and even for medicinal purposes.

Coconuts – N23.83 billion

  • Coconut is a cash crop that is grown in 22 of Nigeria’s 36 states and its production is limited to the south-western part of the country, with Lagos State having the largest production area. Nigeria exported coconut worth N23.83 billion in 2021. The coconut export during the period included those desiccated, fresh or dried, whether or not shelled or peeled.
  • Coconut serves as a raw material for numerous industries, such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and food, and beverages, with limitless domestic and export potential; coconut consumption, however, has continued to rise with the growing population, especially dry coconut which is consumed in the northern part of the country.

Bubbling under

  • Frozen seafood – N17.3 billion
  • Ginger – N12.1 billion
  • Flowers – N5.4 billion
  • Brasil nuts – N5.2 billion
  • Sesame oil and its fraction – N4.9 billion
  • Natural cocoa butter – N4.7 billion
  • Palm nuts and kernel – N3.8 billion



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