Top 10 Agricultural Exports from Nigeria

in News April 24, 2020

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicate that cashew nuts have topped sesame seeds to become the leading agricultural export product (and fourth leading export product) in Nigeria for the second quarter of 2018.   

Total Agricultural Exports 

According to Foreign Trade Report by NBS, the total value of exported agricultural products in Q2 2018 was N85.9 billion, compared to N73.25 billion in the previous quarter of Q1 2018, showing a strong quarter on quarter growth of 17.3%. Also, total agricultural exports in Nigeria grew by 127.3% on a year on year basis, from N37.79 billion in Q2 2017. 

Meanwhile, agricultural goods (exports and imports) contributed 4.72% to Nigeria’s total trade in the period under review, with a value of N310.4 billion compared to 3.57% (N257.7 billion) it contributed in the previous quarter of Q1 2018. 

In total, agricultural products contributed 1.92% to Nigeria’s total exports in Q2 2018, growing from a share of 1.6% in the first quarter of 2018. In contrast, it decreased in comparison to the corresponding quarter in 2017, when agricultural exports contributed 2% to the total exports. 

Top 10 Agricultural Export Products  

According to the data from NBS, cashew nuts in shell is Nigeria’s leading agricultural export product for the second quarter of 2018, with an export value of N38.5 billion from N5.03 billion in Q1 2018. Having lost the top position to sesame seeds since the third quarter of 2017, cashew nuts bounced back to the top of Nigeria’s agricultural export list with a growth by 665.4% from Q1 2018. 

This was followed by sesame seed (whether or not broken) with a value of N19.4 billion, showing a decline of 26.8% from N26.5 billion it exported in the previous quarter. Superior quality raw cocoa bean was next with N6.8 billion. Good fermented Nigerian cocoa beans, recorded an export value of N4.6 billion to place fourth. Other frozen shrimps and prawns had an export value of N3.2 billion – up from 1.7 billion in Q1 2028. 

Other top agricultural exports include other quality raw cocoa beans (N1.6 billion), soya beans seed (whether or not broken) (N1.5 billion), ginger N1.13 billion natural cocoa butter N1.12 billion agro food items N1.03 billion.


Nigeria’s agricultural products in the quarter under review were majorly exported to Asia and Europe. Specifically, cashew nuts in shell (the leading export product) were majorly exported to Vietnam, India, UAE and the Netherlands. 

On the other hand, the second primary agricultural product, sesame seeds, were majorly imported to China, Japan, Turkey and the Netherlands while cocoa beans were sold to Malaysia, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Indonesia. 

United States and Netherlands were the major export destinations for frozen shrimps and prawns, while Italy remains the leading importer of Nigeria’s soya beans in the quarter under review. 

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 

  • Cashew nuts in shell
  • Sesame seeds (whether or not broken)
  • Superior quality raw cocoa beans
  • Good fermented Nigerian cocoa beans
  • Other frozen shrimps and prawns
  • Other quality raw cocoa beans 
  • Soya bean (whether or not broken)
  • Ginger
  • Natural cocoa butter
  • Agro food items

Culled from Nairametrics

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