Nigeria can earn N120bn revenue from export of sesame seed annually – Agusto report

…Seeks investment in processing plant to retain loss

If Nigeria improves on the business of exporting sesame seed to other global markets, the country can earn as much as N120 billion in revenue per annum, the latest Agro Commodities report released by Agusto & Co Ltd, has projected.

According to the report, Nigeria in the fourth quarter of 2018, earned about N30 billion from export of sesame seed alone to Asia and Europe, highlighting an export potential of N120 billion per annum in Nigeria.

Sesame seed, the report stated, remains in high demand abroad by pharmaceuticals and other industries that produce soap, shampoo, lubricant, paints, cosmetics and oil.
It is also use in the preparation of hummus, toppings on sushi cuisines and confectionery products.

Presenting the report to newsmen in Lagos last week, Chiamaka Ozorjiri, analyst at Agusto & Co Ltd, said cashew and sesame seeds remain key crops that will drive the export diversification bid of the Nigerian government, given the crops’ rapid developing markets.
She however frowned at the fact that both crops are exported in unprocessed form which creates a loss in value addition.

“Today, Nigerian farmers only remove the back of the cashew and sell the nuts raw. This is poor compared to England and Vietnam where it is processed before the products are sold to other international buyers. They make more money because they buy from Nigeria at a cheaper rate, process and sell at higher prices,” Ozorjiri said.

She called on African countries, to ride on the platform provided by the newly signed Africa Free Continental Trade Area (AFCTA) agreement to put resources together, and set up a processing plant for agro commodities like cashew and sesame seed in order to retain the huge annual loss.
“Nigeria just like Cote Ivories, Tanzania are among the African countries that contribute about 53 percent of the global cashew production. And if these countries can set up processing plant, all the loss in value addition can be retained,” she pointed out.

She however said that for cashew and sesame seed processing plant to thrive, there is need to ensure adequate supply of raw material, and put in serious effort in addressing farming challenges such as poor access to funding, use of crude farming equipment and use of modern planting and harvesting equipment.

Analysing the report, she said that almost 40 percent of global cashew supplies are shipped to India and Vietnam for shelling, adding that this loss of value add totals about $200 million.

“There is need for increased private sector investment in cashew and sesame processing plant. This involves investment in state-of-the-art processing facilities, raw material sourcing from reliable small and large scale farmers,” he noted.

Meanwhile, the report pointed out that global cashew market has recorded strong expansion in the last decade with cashew nut production increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 5 percent to 790,000 metric tonnes in 2018.

It further noted that growth in the international cashew market has been supported by increased consumption of cashew particularly in middle and upper countries due to the greater health consciousness.

Ozorjiri said there are expectation of a moderate growth in both markets in the short term with good rainfall, improved access to good quality inputs and assured demand from the international market.

While calling on industry players, policy makers and investors to patronise the Agusto Agro Commodities report in order to gain more insight on the potential and opportunities inherent in the Agricultural sector, she said the report outlines key competitive tools pertinent to the success of cashew and sesame export in Nigeria today.