Nigeria exported agro-food items worth N165.27 billion in the second quarter of 2021, representing a 112% increase compared to N78.03 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2020. This is also the highest on record, according to data tracked from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The recent value also represents a 30% increase when compared to N127.18 billion worth of export recorded in the previous quarter (Q1 2021). Recall that Nairametrics had reported that Nigeria’s foreign trade increased by 89% year-on-year to N12.03 trillion in Q2 2021.
The report had also highlighted that Nigeria continued with a foreign trade deficit of N1.87 trillion having recorded an import value of N6.95 trillion as against an export value of N5.08 trillion.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s agric imports also increased by 56.9% year-on-year in Q2 2021 to N652.08 billion, indicating a trade deficit of N486.8 billion, quite huge for a country blessed with vast land and an agricultural sector that employs a huge chunk of its labour force.
Nigeria continues to expand its ability to earn foreign returns from agricultural export, especially during a time when oil revenue is not as robust as it used to be, due to the OPEC production quota and oscillating crude oil prices.
However, the local production is still not enough for local consumption, hence the need to export food items from other countries, which in turn affects Nigeria’s balance of trade and by extension the exchange rate.
In a recent article by Nairametrics, the Chairman, Board of Directors of Sterling Bank Plc, Mr Asue Ighodalo while discussing at the 4th Agriculture Summit Africa (ASA) 2021 organised by the bank, stated that Nigeria’s agricultural productivity, which is currently growing by 1.3% is still insufficient to meet food and raw material demands.