In the first quarter of 2021, Nigeria’s agricultural export reaped N127 billion, representing a 128 percent increase when compared to the N55.8 billion earned in the fourth quarter of 2020.
This was disclosed recently by the Chairman of the Federation of Agricultural Commodity Association of Nigeria (FACAN) Edo chapter, Mr Enahoro Ojiefoh.
He said this during the distribution of sesame seeds and cashew seedlings to farmers in the Edo North Senatorial District.
Ojiefoh noted that sesame topped the list of agro-export commodities, with an estimated export value of N41.9 billion, while cashew nuts, both in-shell and shelled, were valued at N13.7 billion.
According to him, this represents a huge opportunity for Nigeria in terms of export revenue generation, as sesame could fetch an estimated $1.5 billion for the country if opportunities therein are maximised.
He added that sesame seed was an important component of the country’s agricultural export as Nigeria was among the highest producers of the commodity.
“Reports have it that the global demand for the commodity is expected to grow at 4.2 percent compound annual growth rate between 2018 and 2024.
“Nigeria is expected to key into this, considering its landmass and the fact that the sesame is drought-resistant and requires minimal fertiliser, which makes it cheaper to cultivate than other crops,” Ojiefoh said.
Ojiefoh further disclosed that 55,000 cashew seedlings and 100 sesame seeds were to be distributed to farmers in the senatorial district for cultivation, stressing that the idea was to make Edo an agricultural export state.
He also revealed that FACAN had designed a four-year master plan to inject one million cashew trees in multiple hundreds yearly and 2,000 tonnes of sesame seeds yearly into the state’s economy as it could translate to about N8 billion in value by the fifth year.