The value of agricultural goods imported into the country exceeded exports by N443.35bn in the first quarter of 2022 amid rising security challenges that have continued to affect the fortunes of the sector, according to figures obtained by our correspondent
Data obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics revealed that “the value of total trade in agricultural goods in Q1, 2022 stood at N644.94bn of which exports were valued at N201.59bn in Q1, 2022.”
The banking industry had decried the effect on insecurity on several interventions introduced for the agricultural sector.
The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, said, “The Bankers’ Committee called on the Federal Government to prioritise efforts to curb the menace of insecurity to enable farming and other business activities return to normalcy.”
A member of the Monetary Policy Committee, Mohammed Salisu, said “Drivers of inflation, especially food inflation, in Nigeria include disruption to farming activities and inter-state trade because of worsening security conditions, rural road infrastructural deficits, persistent supply chain disruptions, post-harvest losses, and sustained exchange rate pressures with pass-through to domestic prices.”
Further figures obtained from the NBS showed that exports of agricultural goods increased by 51.89 per cent and 58.35 per cent when compared to the value recorded in Q4, 2021 (N132.71bn) and Q1, 2021 (N127.31bn) respectively.
During the quarter, agricultural products exported to Asia, were valued at N101.99bn, followed by Europe with N27.49bn.
The export of agricultural products was dominated by superior quality cocoa beans valued at N72.59bn, followed by ‘Sesamum seeds, whether or not broken’ with N56.45bn and standard quality cocoa beans with N13.21bn.
By direction of trade, ‘Superior quality raw cocoa beans’ worth N27.16bn and N16.11bn was exported to The Netherlands and Belgium respectively.
Sesamum seeds worth N24.34bn and N11.11bn were exported to China and Japan respectively, followed by exports of standard quality cocoa beans worth N6.70 and N2.74bn were exported to Germany and Malaysia respectively.
Total imports of agricultural goods imported in Q1, 2022 stood at N443.36bn or 7.51 per cent of total imports in Q1, 2022.
This shows a decrease of 33.55 per cent when compared to the value recorded in Q4, 2021 (N667.16bn) and rose by 8.39 per cent compared to the value recorded in Q1, 2021(N409.03bn).