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Sesamum seeds top Nigeria’s agric exports

Sesamum seeds top Nigeria’s agric exports


Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicate that Sesamum seed is the leading agricultural export product (and fourth leading export product) in Nigeria for the first quarter of 2018.

Total Agricultural Exports
According to Foreign Trade Report by NBS, the total value of exported agricultural products in Q1 2018 was N73.25 billion, compared to N44.71 billion in the previous quarter of Q4 2017, showing a strong quarter on quarter growth of 63.83%. Also, total agricultural exports in Nigeria grew by 23.94% on a year on year basis, from N59.1 billion in Q1 2017.

Meanwhile, agricultural goods contributed 3.57% to Nigeria’s total trade in the period under review, with a value of N257.7 billion.

In total, agricultural products contributed 1.6% to Nigeria’s total exports in Q1 2018, growing from a share of 1.1% in the fourth quarter of 2017. In contrast, it decreased when compared to the corresponding quarter in 2017, when agricultural exports contributed 2% to the total exports.

Top Agricultural Export Products
According to the data from NBS, sesamum seed (whether or not broken) is Nigeria’s leading agricultural export product for the first quarter of 2018, with an export value of N26.5 billion.

This was followed by good fermented Nigerian cocoa beans with a value of N23.3 billion. Superior quality raw cocoa bean was next with N6.03 billion. Cashew nuts in shell, which topped till the second quarter of 2017, recorded an export value of N5.03 billion. Soya bean (whether or not broken) had an export value of N3.5 billion.

Other top agricultural exports include other frozen shrimps and prawns (N1.7 billion), flour and meals of soya means (1.1 billion). The rest are exported products valued at less than N1 billion.


Nigeria’s agricultural products are majorly exported to Asia and Europe. Specifically, sesamum seeds (the leading export product) are majorly exported to China, Japan, Turkey, Vietnam and the Netherlands.

On the other hand, the second primary agricultural product, cocoa beans, are majorly imported to Netherlands, Germany, Malaysia, Belgium and Indonesia.

India and Vietnam are the major export destinations for cashew nuts, while Italy remains the leading importer of soya beans.

Challenges of Agric Exportation
According to an agric exporter, Francis Akinkuotu, despite the Federal Government’s move to diversify the economy, non-oil exporters, especially agric exporters, still face numerous hurdles in the bid to export their products. The constraints include:

Difficulties in accessing foreign exchange for export.

Lack of adequate access to logistics and input support from appropriate quarters.
Poor infrastructure and inefficient marketing arrangements which make it difficult for agric exporters to market the products.

Inadequate warehousing and other means of storage facilities leading to huge post harvest losses, which may be estimated between 20-30% of total output for tree crops like cocoa and cashew.

Export grants, support schemes and incentives are not properly implemented and the non-oil export sector is highly regulated by the government.
Inability to access financial assistance from financial institutions.
List of top 10 exports

Sesamum seeds (whether or not broken)
Good fermented Nigerian cocoa beans
Superior quality raw cocoa beans
Cashew nuts in shell
Soya bean (whether or not broken)
Other frozen shrimps and prawns
Flour and meals of soya means
Other cut flowers and flower buds of kinds suitable for ornamental purposes fresh, dried, dyed
Fats and oils of cocoa.



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