Despite agonies reported by farmers in different parts of the country while the cash shortages persisted, Nigeria’s agric export surged 39 percent in the first quarter of 2023, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The exported agro-products were worth N279.64 billion in the first three months of the year as against N201.59 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2022.
On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the country’s export grew 63.9 percent compared to N170.59 billion worth of exports in the previous quarter (Q4 2022).
According to the report, the sector accounted for 4.3 percent of the country’s total export (N6,487.04 billion) for the period.
The cash crunch that engulfed the entire nation in the first quarter caused the sector to contract for the first time in the democratic era.
NBS attributed the reduction in growth to the adverse effects of the cash crunch experienced during the quarter.
Experts say the country has continued to expand its ability to earn foreign returns from agricultural exports amid the country’s dwindling oil revenue.
Similarly, the value of imports of agricultural goods in Q1 2023 stood at N471.39 billion, indicating an increase of 5.97 percent and 6.32 percent when compared to the value recorded in the Q4 of 2022 (N444.82 billion) and the corresponding quarter of 2022 (N443.36 billion) respectively.
Cocoa beans, sesame seeds, and cashew nuts topped the list of exported agricultural commodities, earning Nigeria N197.55 billion for the period.