Cocoa beans, sesamum seeds, cashew, and seven others top the list of agricultural commodities Nigeria exported in the first quarter of 2023, generating N279.64 billion in revenue, latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show.
Year-on-year, the value of the top agricultural commodities exported increased by 38.7 percent compared to the N201.59 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2022.
In the first quarter of 2023, agricultural exports accounted for 4.31 percent of total exports valued at N6.49 trillion.
BusinessDay identified the top 10 agro-commodities that were exported to other countries in the first quarter of 2023, based on a recent foreign trade report from the NBS.
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) exported in Q1 2023 stood at N102.71 billion, accounting for 36.73 percent of total agricultural exports (279.64 billion) in the country within the same period.
The commodity was mainly exported to the Netherlands, Malaysia, Indonesia, Belgium, Germany, and Italy.
Nigeria’s exportation of sesame seeds in Q1 2023 stood at N67.66 billion, accounting for 24.20 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 Japan, Vietnam, Turkey, and South Korea.
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.
Soybeans have an average protein content of 40 percent. It is more protein rich than any of the common vegetable or animal food sources found in Nigeria, according to the NEPC.
Soybeans were introduced to Nigeria in 1908 and the country first exported in 1947.
NEPC says Nigeria’s soya beans production is rising steadily spurred by favourable grower prices and high demand. It is estimated that the domestic soybean requirement will grow to 3,000-3,500 TMT by 2040.
Nigeria exported Soya Beans (both seeds & excluding seeds) to India, Canada, Turkey, Nepal, Pakistan, to the tune of N38.63 billion in Q1 2023, accounting for 13.8 percent of the country’s total agric exports within the period reviewed.
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 five percent.
The country 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/shelled to the tune of N34.02 billion in Q1 2023, accounting for 12.17 percent of the country’s total agric exports within the period reviewed.
Other cut flowers & flower buds of kind suitable ornamental purposes
These generated N13.0 billion, accounting for 4.65 percent of total agric exports within the period.
Ginger (crushed or ground/neither crushed nor ground) valued at N7.48 billion was exported from January to March. Its exports accounted for 2.67 percent of the N279.64 billion total agro-foods exports in the period.
Citing statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the NEPC said Nigeria accounts for 40 percent of global ginger production, producing almost 523,000 metric tonnes annually.
According to the NBS, ginger is one of Nigeria’s main agricultural export products, and it has ranked steadily as the fourth- or fifth-highest.
Other frozen shrimps and prawns
Frozen shrimps and prawns accounted for 1.8 percent of total agricultural exports in the period under review.
Nigeria exported frozen shrimps and prawns at a value of N5.13 billion in the period. It can be added to salad, pasta, and other meals.
The NEPC has said there is a lot of additional export potential for Nigerian cocoa butter. According to the council, the most promising market would be the Netherlands.
Additional export potential is estimated at $28.2 million up to 2021. Other interesting markets for increasing cocoa butter exports include France, Canada, Turkey and Poland.
Nigeria exported natural cocoa butter to the tune of N4.88 billion from January to March 2023, accounting for 1.75 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 N1.19 billion revenue, and 0.43 percent of total agricultural exports in the period under review.
Roasted Cocoa beans
Roasted Cocoa beans earned Nigeria N1.01 billion in the period under review.