Sorghum farmers in Nigeria have been denied a unique opportunity to benefit from the trade spat between China and the United States as a result of continuing insurgency in the country, especially in the northern parts of Nigeria.
Chinese importers seeking alternative sources of sorghum are finding Nigeria, the world’s second-largest producer, unable to fill the gap because security issues in producing areas of the country have made it difficult for farmers to produce, according to reports monitored by businessamlive.com.
Muda Yusuf, the director-general, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry said: “The trade war opens up an opportunity for us to export to China. I don’t think Nigeria is able to take it as our capacity is dwindling because of all the security problems we have in our agricultural belt.”
Nigeria produced 6.5 million metric tonnes of sorghum in 2017, second only to the U.S. which had output of more than eight million tonnes, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Nigeria’s ministry of agriculture puts annual output at 11 million tonnes, which it says isn’t enough for local demand of 12.5 million tonnes, raising questions about the capacity to export.
Buyers from China began making inquiries from Nigerian suppliers even before retaliatory tariffs with the U.S. set in. China imposed a tariff of 179 percent on imports of U.S. sorghum in April after starting an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation in February.
It recently announced it was suspending the measure as the two countries seek to resolve their trade dispute.
The area planted with sorghum in Nigeria will decline three