Out of the total sum of ₦8,374.4 billion merchandise traded across various sectors of the economy in Q3, 2020, agricultural products traded stood at ₦563.9 billion. The most recent foreign trade in good statistics released by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has also revealed that agricultural products accounts for 6.73% of the total sectorial share.
Top of the list of the agricultural products traded during the period under review is sesame seed, which is valued at ₦15.597 billion. Next in magnitude to sesame seed is cashew nuts in shell, which is valued at ₦15.061 billion. Good fermented Nigerian cocoa bean occupied the third place at a value of ₦5.846 billion. Other agricultural goods include superior quality raw cocoa beans value at ₦5.571 billion, Shea nuts valued at ₦3.998 billion, soya beans valued at ₦2.505 billion among others.
MSMEsToday deduced from the report that agricultural goods imported are responsible for 89.27% or ₦503.4 billion while exported agricultural goods accounted for the remaining ₦60.5 billion. In terms of imports, Durum wheat worth ₦55.5billion was imported from the United States, ₦46.6billion value from Russia and ₦46.5billion value from Canada.
Mackerel, imported from Russia worth ₦13.8 billion, Netherlands (₦5.8billion) and Japan (₦2.6billion) followed. Also in this category was maize seed worth ₦25.9billion imported from Argentina. On the other hand, the key drivers of agricultural products exports were Sesames seeds, Cashew nuts, good fermented Cocoa beans and Superior quality raw cocoa beans. Sesames seeds were exported mainly to Japan (₦5.3 billion) and to China (₦4.7billion), while Cashew nuts worth ₦8.3billion and ₦2.2billion were exported to Vietnam and India respectively.
Furthermore, analysis of the economic regions showed that the largest proportion of the agricultural goods imported into the country in Q3 came from Europe which was value at ₦232.18 billion, followed by America with the value of imported agricultural goods at ₦174.95 billion. Asia occupied the third position in terms of agricultural products imported into the country in the Q3, 2020 valued at ₦80.23 billion while agricultural goods imported from other Africa countries were valued at ₦15.88 billion.
On the export angle, larger proportion of the agricultural goods exported went to Asia and were valued at ₦32.19 billion, followed by Europe valued at ₦16.72 billion. Exported agricultural goods to other African countries occupied the third position and were valued at ₦9.11 billion. Agricultural goods valued at ₦2.43billion and ₦0.31 billion were exported to America and Oceania respectively in Q3, 2020.
Experts believe that agricultural goods traded especially export goods, which earned the country foreign exchange, will improve in the coming years as a result of various government interventions in the sector. Recently, the Federal government revealed plans aimed at providing interest-free loans to farmers in the country. The Honorable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, who disclosed this in a statement, stated that his ministry would work with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in providing the loans to farmers with more than 1.1 million farmers set to benefit from this plan.