The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has disclosed that the country’s agric sector contributed about N78.1 billion in export of produce in the second quarter of 2020. The NBS indicated that the total trade in agricultural goods during the second quarter of this year stood at N493.7 billion. The NBS report on Nigeria’s agric export was enlisted on ‘Foreign trade in goods statistics’ for the second quarter of 2020. Countries in the continent of Asia, Europe and America were among those that received the bulk of Nigeria’s agricultural products.
A breakdown of the statistics showed that most agricultural goods were exported at N43.6 billion (Asia), N26.4 billion (Europe), and N6.6 billion (America). Raw cocoa beans, sesame seeds, cashew nuts, fermented cocoa beans and other produce were spotted as key drivers of the country’s agricultural product exports in the quarter under review. The report cited The Netherlands (N9.3 billion), Indonesia (N3.7 billion) and United States (N2.4 billion) as main consumers of superior quality cocoa.
Other agricultural exports were sesame seeds exported to Japan (N6 billion) and China (N2.3 billion). Cashew nuts worth N12 billion were exported to Vietnam. Durum wheat worth N41 billion was also imported from the United States, Russia (N28.8 billion) and Latvia (N24.5 billion). Meanwhile, on foreign trade, the NBS reported a total of 31.41 per cent of goods imported into Nigeria were from China.
“Nigeria’s imports, by country of origin, shows goods were imported mainly from China (N1.26 trillion or 31.41 per cent), United States (N428.9 billion or 10.66 per cent), India (N322.3 billion or 8.01 per cent), and the Netherlands (N202.9 billion or 5.04 per cent) respectively. “The value of exports in Q2’20 stood at N2.22 trillion, a decrease of 45.64 per cent compared to Q1’20 and 51.73 per cent compared to Q2’19.
“The year to date export amounted to N6.3 trillion, representing a per cent decline compared to 2019,” the report read in part. However, it could be recalled that the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), recently revealed that Nigeria lost $10 billion in annual export opportunity due to continuous decline in the production of some essential agro allied commodities. The chamber noted this was attributed to the slow growth of Nigeria’s value-added per capita in agriculture at less than one per cent annually in the last 20 years.
Consequently, the chamber disclosed that with the emergence of COVID-19, it is expected that the value-added per capita of the country’s agriculture will slow further amid inability to export essential agro allied commodities fuelled by continuous decline in the production of those commodities. The LCCI explained that over the years, the country’s food production increases have not kept pace with population growth, resulting in rising food imports and declining levels of national food self-sufficiency.
It stated that although agriculture remains the largest sector of the Nigerian economy and employs two-thirds of the entire labour force, production hurdles have significantly stifled the performance of this sector.
The chamber quoted that the main factors undermining production in the country’s agric sector includes reliance on rainfed agriculture, smallholder land holding, and low productivity due to poor planting material, low fertilizer application, and a weak agricultural extension system amongst others. Particularly, these factors have in no small measure contributed to the setback in the country’s agric sector growth and development in all ramifications.