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Nigeria’s agric export surge 48% on weaker naira in 2023

Sesame tops agric export in Q1 – NBS

Nigeria has seen its agricultural exports surge 48 percent in 2023 on weaker naira, BusinessDay analysis of the latest foreign trade in consumer goods report shows.

The agric sector generated N1.24 trillion in exports in 2023 compared to N598.16 billion accrued by the sector in 2022.

The surge, according to experts, is influenced significantly by the country’s naira devaluation in 2023, which increased the value of agric exports in naira terms.

Read also: WTO initiates $1.2m project on Nigeria’s agricultural exports

Also, they added that the global price rally in cocoa – Nigeria’s flagship export crop is also a contributor to the increase. Cocoa prices have surged by over 100 percent in the international market.

Abiodun Olorundero, managing partners at Prasinos Farms said this surge in agric exports is due to increased commodity prices and naira devaluation.

He noted that the value of the sector ought to be higher, but insecurity affecting farmers continues to hinder the sector productivity in Africa’s largest nation.

“This surge compared to the value generated in 2022 is attributed to a price surge in our cash crops like cocoa, sesame seeds, and the like,” Olorundero said.

“The naira devaluation is another factor that contributes to the surge in value terms.”

He added that if insecurity is tackled in the country, the value of agric exports will surge by about 200 percent in 2024, an increase he says is not “impossible”.

“Without insecurity pursuing many farmers from their farms, we would have a surge of about 200 percent, which is not impossible,” he said.

The sector accounts for 21.87 percent of total non-oil exports ($4.5 billion) in 2023.

Top agric exports

Cocoa beans, sesamum seeds, cashews, and seven others top the list of agricultural commodities Nigeria exported in 2023.

Agricultural exports accounted for 2.93 percent (1.24 trillion) of total exports valued at N36.54 trillion in 2023.

Here are the top agro-commodities that were exported to other countries in 2023.

Read also: OGFZA patners NAQS, others to boost trade facilitation, agricultural economy


The value of cocoa beans (both superior, standard quality & roasted) exported in 2023 stood at N357.72 billion, accounting for 28.74 percent of total agricultural exports (1.24 trillion) in all the quarters of 2023.

The country exported cocoa (both superior, standard quality & roasted) mainly to the Netherlands, Indonesia, Malaysia, Canada, and Spain in 2023.

Sesame seeds

Nigeria’s exportation of sesame seeds in 2023 stood at N253.7 billion, accounting for 20.4 percent of the country’s total agric exports within the period.

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

China was the biggest importer of sesame seeds from Nigeria in the period under review. Other export destinations were India, Japan, Turkey, and Vietnam. Year-on-year, the commodity increased 20.3 percent from N134.84 billion in 2022.


NEPC says Nigeria’s soybean production is rising steadily spurred by favourable grower prices and high demand.

On a year-on-year basis, the commodity surged 561 percent to N148.2 billion from N22.42 billion.

Nigeria exported soybeans (both seeds & excluding seeds) to India, Turkey, Nepal, Pakistan, and China to the tune of N148.2 billion in 2023, accounting for 12.1 percent of the country’s total agric exports within the period reviewed.

Cashew nuts

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council has described Nigeria as a major and growing player in the cashew industry, with a rising market share in global cashew production and an annual average production increase of five percent.

It exported cashew nuts in shells/shelled to the tune of N194.22 billion in 2023, accounting for 15.61 percent of the country’s total agric exports within the period reviewed.

Other cut flowers & flower buds of kind suitable for ornamental purposes

These generated N86.63 billion, accounting for 7.0 percent of total agric exports within the period.

Year-on-year, the value of this commodity surged 57.4 percent from N203.3 million in 2022.

Read also: NAQS reiterates adherence to EU requirement for exports


Ginger (crushed or ground/neither crushed nor ground) valued at N20.48 billion was exported from January to December. Its exports accounted for 1.6 percent of the N1.24 trillion total agro-foods exports in the period.

Other frozen shrimps and prawns

Frozen shrimps and prawns accounted for N1.7 percent of total agricultural exports in the period under review.

Nigeria exported frozen shrimp and prawns at a value of N21.33 billion in the period. It can be added to salad, pasta, and other meals.

Cocoa butter

Nigeria exported natural cocoa butter to the tune of N35.28 billion in 2023, accounting for 2.8 percent of total agricultural exports.

Other oil seeds and oleaginous fruits, not elsewhere specified

‘Other oil seeds and oleaginous fruits, not elsewhere specified’ accounted for N9.13 billion in revenue and 0.7 percent of total agricultural exports in the period under review.