• Saturday, June 22, 2024
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Commodity exports open multi-billion naira investment opportunities for investors

Sesame tops agric export in Q1 – NBS

Nigeria’s agriculture exports – especially commodities – remain a viable way to boost foreign exchange revenue, while at the same time empowering local value chains and creating wealth.

It creates multi-billion naira opportunities for investors that can tap it, according to a new report.

The report themed ‘The Nigerian Commodities Market: Opportunities for Aspiring Investors’ stated that with improved proceeds from commodity exports, Nigeria will boost its FX revenue amid acute scarcity.

The country’s agric sector has much to offer through the exportation of cash commodities to help create jobs, earn the much-needed dollars and attain food security, the report said.

The report citing data from the National Bureau of Statistics, said the country’s total agric export surged 48 percent in 2023 to N1.24 trillion up from N598.16 billion accrued by the sector in 2022.

It identified cocoa (both superior, standard quality & roasted), sesame seeds, soybeans, cashew and ginger as the top five most exportable commodities. In no particular order, BusinessDay takes a look at the commodities.


Topping the list of the country’s most exported cash crops, cocoa (both superior, standard quality & roasted) accounted for N352.72 billion of the country’s total agric export in 2023.

This commodity has put smiles on farmers’ faces as it hit record high in the global market at more than $10,000 per tonne in March. It has also brought the much-needed dollars into the country and has increased farmers’ earnings in dollar terms.

Nigeria is the third-largest producer of cocoa in Africa, after Ghana and Cote’d’Ivoire, and is the fourth leading grower in the global cocoa industry.

Cocoa processing offers investment opportunities for investors from cake to butter and liquor.

The country exported cocoa mainly to the Netherlands, Indonesia, Malaysia, Canada, and Spain.

Sesame seeds

The country is among the top growers of sesame seeds globally, thus making the seed an important component of Nigeria’s diversification plan.

Data from NBS show that Nigeria exported sesame seeds to the tune of N253.7 billion in 2023, up from its 2022 value of N133.84 billion.

Sesame seeds offer investment opportunities for investors as it is a drought-resistant crop produced in large quantities in Northern Nigeria. With two annual seasons (August & October), the crop can withstand the country’s irregular rainfall.

NEPC has described Nigeria as a major producer of high-quality raw sesame seed with minimum 45 percent of oil content.

The crop can also be used for oil (both for cooking and industrial purposes), medicine and in the production of cosmetics.


The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) says Nigeria’s soybeans production is rising steadily spurred by favourable prices and high global demand.

The uses of soybeans are innumerable, ranging from health to food. Due to its protein value, different processed forms of the bean are healthy.

The numerous benefits of the bean make it a great investment opportunity for investors, both local and foreign.

Nigeria exports soybeans to the tune of N148.2 billion in 2023, making it the third most exported commodity in the agricultural export list yearly.

Cashew nuts

Due to their fine flavour and taste, cashew nuts are desired by many people globally. Cashew is not only roasted and eaten raw as it has both medicinal and chemical properties for the production of other by-products.

Apart from helping to maintain a healthy heart and bones, cashew also helps in weight loss. Cashew nuts are used in producing chemicals, paints, varnishes, insecticides and fungicides, electrical conductress, and several types of oil.

Data from Mordor Intelligence show that in 2022 as part of efforts to diversify into other sectors of the economy, the Nigerian Construction Firm Julius Berger Nigeria PLC unveiled a modern cashew processing plant in Epe, Lagos State, Nigeria.

Nigeria exported cashew nuts to the tune of N86.63 billion in 2023, soaring 57.4 percent from N203.3 million in 2022, indicating the high export potential of the commodity that investors can tap into.


NEPC has said the country’s ginger production is projected to grow by 6 percent per annum.

With a steady production of 522,000 metric tonnes annually, Nigeria is the leading producer of the crop in Africa and the fourth largest producer globally.

“Nigerian suppliers can produce and export several forms and varieties of ginger. These include fresh, dried-split and crushed, giving options to diverse categories of importers,” NEPC said on its website.

The commodity promises a lot of gains for investors with its 14 percent share in total global production and over 90 percent exportation of local production.

Ginger serves as a spice in food and offers medicinal benefits in pharmaceutical industries.

Nigeria exported the commodity (crushed or ground/neither crushed nor ground) to the tune of N20.48 in 2023.