Nigeria: Agricultural Exports Appreciate By 54.9% 

Cocoa tree and its fruits

March 9, 2018//-Agricultural goods exports for the last quarter of 2017 grew in value by 54.9 per cent valued at N44.7billion as against N28.8billion in Q3 according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The total value of trade in agricultural goods in Q4 2017 stood at N272.2billion representing 4.52 per cent of total trade in Q4 2017, as agricultural exports represented 1.14 per cent of total exports and 10.8 per cent of total imports in Q4 2017.

According to the report, agriculture exports in Q4 2017 were driven by the export of Sesamum seeds which accounted for N15.8billion or 35.3 per cent of the total agriculture exports and 0.40 per cent of total exports.

During the quarter under review, sesamum seeds worth N6.3 billion were exported to China, N3.0 billion to Turkey and N2.4 billion to Japan.

Sesamum seed exports were followed by the Nigerian Cocoa beans exports valued at N14.5 billion or 33 per cent of agriculture exports and 0.37 per cent of total exports.

The produce was exported in Q4 2017 principally to the Netherlands (N7.4 billion), Malaysia (N2.9 billion) and Indonesia (N2.3 billion).

Other major agricultural products included Frozen shrimps worth N4billion or 9 per cent of agriculture exports which were exported mainly to Netherlands (N1.9 billion), Belgium (N0.6 billion), and Vietnam (N0.6 billion); Flour and meals of Soya beans worth N3.6 billion (8.0 per cent of agriculture exports) exported mainly to Spain (N2.5 billion); France (N0.99 billion) and Cashew nuts worth N2.1 billion (4.7 per cent of agriculture exports) exported mainly to Vietnam (N2.1 billion).

Others include; Crude Palm kernel oil worth N911million, Ginger worth N786million, other cut flowers and flower buds of kind suitable ornamental purposes fresh, dried, dyed N481million, Nigerian Cotton Lint (noga) N315million, Soya beans, whether or not broken N276million, Maize (corn) starch: Pharmaceutical grade N213million, Gum Arabic N160million, Groundnuts: Other N68million Other Frozen shrimps and prawns N56million, Wheat or meslin flour N41million.

However, with regards to imports, agricultural imports valued at N227.5 billion were imported in Q4 2017 compared to N231.5 billion in Q3 2017 and N231.8 billion in Q2 2017.

This represents a 1.7 per cent decrease over Q3 2017 and a 15.9 per cent increase over Q4 2016.

The report also revealed that Nigerian agricultural imports in Q4 2017 accounted for 10.8 per cent of total imports in the quarter under review.

Major agriculture imports in Q4 2017 according to the report, included Durum wheat (seeds) worth N313.2 billion from United States, N132.2 from Russia, N128.1billion from Canada; Durum wheat (not in seeds) worth N140.4 billion from Russia, N97.1 billion from the United States, N83.5 billion from Canada, N7.2 billion from Australia; as well as Herrings worth N47.2 billion from Netherlands, N21.7 billion from Russia; and Mackerel meat, frozen worth N44.1 billion from Netherlands.

Mutairu Mamudu, the National President, Association of Sesame Farmers of Nigeria in his reaction to the report in a telephone interview with DAILY INDEPENDENT, stated had the necessary encouragement to boost the production of that crop was given it would be competing with oil.

Pointing out that the crop is still in the hands of peasant farmers, he observed that there has not been a very clear-cut assistant to further the production, saying that the attraction by farmers lies in the very good price the crop attracts in the market.

“Had it been the necessary encouragement to boost the production of that crop were in place the crop should be competing with what we get from oil, but right now the crop is still in the hands of peasant farmers and they have not been a very clear-cut assistant to further boost the production but because it has a very good price in the market individual farmers have to farm it”, he said

According to him a bag of 100kg is presently sold for N40, 000, stressing that if there are incentives farmers that are producing about 10 bags will be producing 20 bags.

He that considering this the production will rise and there will be more money for the farmers and more foreign exchange earnings for the country.

Tola Faseru, the National President National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), said cashew as a seasonal crop also looks good with a promising bigger volume in the second quarter of April and May.

He said Nigerian exporters, especially cashew exporters are now getting ready for new season.

According to him, “Cashew itself is a seasonal crop, so we expect that bigger volume or the biggest volume in the second quarter around January, February and the peak in April. Less is expected for the quarter under review,”

Also, Anga Sotonye, an agribusiness strategist and key player in the cashew industry, noted that the drop is attributable to the gridlock at the port, stressing that the congestion has generally affected cashew export during the quarter under review.

Similarly, Sayina Riman, the National President, Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN) in a telephone chat, affirmed that cocoa retained its status as the highest foreign exchange earner after oil for Nigeria in terms of volume.

He said most of the export commodities in Nigeria are doing well and are increasing the volume of export so also is cocoa.

On projections for 2018, Riman noted that there has been some good level of rainfall in the South-South never witnessed in over 40 or 50 years between February and now.

He submitted that farmers in the region are optimistic about a good harvest in terms of output.

“If there is consistency in the rainfall factor as we are experiencing now we might be looking at an increase of over 10 to 15 per cent of the previous year exports and production,” he said. 


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