Nigeria’s agricultural export rises by 177% in 12 months
The efforts of the Federal Government in boosting the country’s agricultural export has started yielding fruits as Nigeria’s agricultural export is fast rising.
Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show that the country’s agricultural export rose by 177 percent year on year from N8 billion in q3 2016 to N21 billion in q3 2017.
The data also shows that cashew, sesame seeds, frozen shrimps and prawns led the agricultural exports within the period.
Stakeholders say the export numbers are an indication that the industry has the potential to be a major foreign exchange earner for the country.
“The performance of the country’s cashew production is as a result of the consistent and sustainable work in place to ensure that the country’s cashew gain global recognition and also a confirmation of the huge potential in the sector,” said Anga Sotonye, publicity secretary, National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN) in a telephone response to BusinessDay questions.
“We have put in place so much structure that ensures quality. Farmers are now drying their cashew nuts properly and package them well using jute bags,” Sotonye said.
The bulk of Nigeria’s agricultural export is being exported to Italy, Netherlands, Vietnam, France and China.
Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State for Agriculture said during the preparation of Economic Recovery Agri-Agro Summit in Lagos recently that food can only be a big business in the country when the private sector leads the initiative with the government providing the needed infrastructures to aid production.
“Food business is a big business in the world. For it to be successful in Nigeria everybody must be involved. The private sector is to lead and government is to support by creating the enabling environment to drive the growth,” Lokpobiri said.
“We have identified challenges in the agricultural sector and the gaps responsible for massive importation of food items, fast depletion of the foreign reserve and increasing youth unemployment and we are working on bridging the gaps through various policies, programmes, projects and collaborations,” the further stated.
Agricultural products constitute the bulk of Nigeria’s non-oil exports. The shares of these products both processed and unprocessed in total value of non-oil exports is as high as 70 percent, according to experts.
But most of the goods were shipped out of the country in their raw state as very little was done in adding value to the commodities.
Good market penetration and effective packaging on the part of the exporter, as well as adequate financing from banks and government among others would be vital for the nation’s quest in boosting its export volume, experts say.
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