Efforts at diversifying the Nigerian economy may have started yielding fruits as agriculture produce exports earned the country N30 billion, with cashew exports alone accounting for N13.5 billion or 45.4 percent of total agricultural export as at Q2 2017.
Audu Ogbeh, minister of agriculture and rural Development disclosed this during a presentation on Thursday at the National Economic Council meeting.
He said agricultural exports had increased by 82 per cent in the second quarter of 2017, while export earnings from agricultural goods stood at N30 billion for the same period
He said that the country’s agriculture exports in the second quarter of the year were largely driven by the export of cashew nuts, which he said was worth N13.5 billion.
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Ogbeh, whose presentation was entitled “Strategic Export Initiatives,” indicated that the N13.5 billion earnings from cashew nuts, represents 45.4 per cent of the total agriculture exports and 1.37 percent of the country’s total exports for the quarter.
He said the total value of the trade in agricultural goods in the second quarter of the year was N261.92 billion which is 4.60 per cent of the total trade in the quarter
The minister equally informed the council that sesame seed exports in the second quarter was N7.0 billion, representing 23 percent of the total agriculture exports.
The major export destinations for sesame seed were Japan, N1.3 billion; India, N0.9 billion; Turkey, N0.9 billion; South Korea, N0.8 billion; and China, N0.6 billion.
Frozen shrimps and prawns’ export was N1.6 billion, representing 9.6 per cent of the total agriculture exports. The major export destinations were Netherlands, N1.5 billion; Belgium, N0.67 billion; United States, N0.22 billion; France, N0.17 billion; and Spain, N87 million.
Spain was a major export destination for Nigeria’s soya-bean flour and meals, for the second quarter of the year; the export to Spain alone was worth N2.1 billion, according to the minister.
The discussions at the NEC meeting focused mainly on how the country could significantly improve and drive its non-oil export.
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council made a presentation to the NEC on its “Zero Oil Plan” – an ambitious plan to steer the nation’s economy completely away from oil.
According to the NEPC, the ‘Zero oil Plan’ aims at earning at least $30 billion from non-oil sources in the near to medium term as against the current earnings of about $5 billion,” the federal government said in the report of what transpired at the NEC meeting.
“The objectives of the ‘Zero Oil Plan’ is to add $150 billion to Nigeria foreign reserves over the next 10 years, create 500,000 jobs, lift 10 million Nigerians out of poverty and integrate each State of the Federation into the export value chain.
“The focus of the plan is on the export of the following crops — Rice, Wheat, Corn, Palm Oil, Rubber, Hides and Skin, Sugar, Soya beans and automotive parts among others,” the report said.
Nigeria has been under pressure to diversify its economy because of the crash in oil price and the fact that the world is increasingly turning away from oil.