Nigeria’s agricultural exports surged to a five-year high in 2022 amid local production push, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows.
A total of N598.2 billion worth of agricultural produce were exported in 2022, accounting for 18.5 percent increase when compared to the figure recorded in 2021.
In 2020 however, the sector’s agro exports value grew year-on-year by 19.16 percent to N321.54 billion. In 2019, export value declined 10.89 percent, accounting for N269.83 billion.
Similarly, the sector accounted for 7.29 percent of total imports amounting to N1,865.53 billion, a 5.43 percent decline from N1,966.89 billion in 2021. The sector accounted for 4.7 percent of the country’s total export for the period.
Cocoa beans, sesame seeds, and cashew nuts topped the list of the exported agricultural commodities, earning Nigeria N442.95 billion for the period.
Top three most exported commodities
Cocoa is a revenue and foreign exchange earner for Nigeria, and the country is the fourth largest grower of the crop with 250,000 metric tonnes, according to data from the International Cocoa Organisation.
According to the NBS, the value of cocoa beans (both superior & standard quality, according to the NBS) exported in 2022 stood at N232.65 billion, accounting for 38.89 percent of total agricultural exports (598.15 billion) in the country within the same period.
The commodity was mainly exported to the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Indonesia, the United States, Malaysia, Canada, and Italy.
Nigeria’s exportation of sesame seeds in 2022 stood at N139.85 billion, accounting for 23.34 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 China, Japan, Vietnam, Turkey, Greece, and Germany.
Sesame seeds could play a vital role in the country’s quest to earn substantial dollars as global demand for the crop continues to rise.
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) 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 5 percent.
The currently produces 220,000 to 240,000 tonnes of cashew in the shell, lower than when compared to its African peers like Côte d’Ivoire, and Guinea Bissau, according to the NEPC.
It exported cashew nuts in shells to the tune of N70.45 billion in 2022, accounting for 11.78 percent of the country’s total agric exports within the period reviewed.