Insecurity that has been traumatizing the agricultural sector of the country has not only been affecting the local availability of agricultural goods but it is also seriously affecting the level of agricultural export and import in the country.
Figures obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed this total value of imported agriculture goods stood at N532.4bn while exported goods stood at N55.8bn in the fourth quarter of 2020. The figures revealed that the value of imported agricultural goods rose by 5.75 per cent to N532.4bn in Q4, 2020 from N503.4bn in Q3, 2020 and the value of exported agricultural goods fell by eight per cent to N55.8bn in Q4, 2020 from N60.6bn in Q3, 2020.
According to the reports from NBS, “The value of total trade in agricultural goods in Q4, 2020 stood at N588.2bn representing 6.45 per cent of total trade in Q4, 2020. Export of agricultural goods was valued at N55.8bn or 1.75 per cent of total exports in Q4 2020.
“Compared to N60.6bn recorded in Q3 2020, the value of agricultural exports fell by eight per cent and by 18.2 per cent when compared to the corresponding quarter in 2019.”
It also revealed that during the quarter, most agricultural products were exported to Asia valued at N43.4bn and Europe valued at N9.4bn and the export of agricultural products were dominated by sesame seeds valued at N27.3bn, good fermented cocoa beans valued at N6.7bn and sesame oil and fractions N4.4billion.
The report said sesame seeds worth were exported to China and to Japan, good fermented cocoa beans was exported to the Netherlands and to Indonesia while Sesame oil and its fractions was also exported to China.
“With regards to imports, agricultural goods valued at N532.4bn were imported in Q4 2020 compared to N503.4bn in Q3, 2020, an increase of 5.75 per cent,” it stated.
According to the report, the major agricultural imports in Q4 2020 included durum wheat (not in seeds) worth N62.9bn imported from Russia, Lithuania (N55.3bn), the United States (N54.6bn) and Canada (N51.8bn) while Herrings (fish) valued at N14.8bn were imported from the Netherlands while Russia accounted for N6.62bn worth of the product.
The Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, at the recent Monetary Policy Committee meeting, lamented the serious impact of insecurity on its interventions efforts, most especially in the agriculture sector as can no longer go into their farm.
He said, “The rising insecurity in some food producing areas is limiting the expected outcomes in terms of supply to the market, thus contributing to the rise in food prices.
The MPC reiterated its concerns on the activities of persons and groups causing security challenges in the food producing areas of the country, as this has contributed to the major uptick in food prices across the country.
“The committee, thus called for a collaborative and coordinated efforts by all the relevant agencies and stakeholders towards addressing the prevailing insecurity issues and social challenges.” Emefiele added.
The Federal government has been trying to increase the volume of dollar coming into the and the increase in agric export with corresponding decrease in import is one of the ways to do that.
With a daily increase on the issues of banditry, kidnapping and the unresolved farmer/herder clashes in most of the agricultural goods producing areas of the country, what will be the result of agricultural export/import in the coming quarters of 2021?
Unless something is quickly done to address insecurity in different part of the country, our agricultural export will continue to decline while import will also continue rise as we will continue to import to fill the gap or face severe scarcity of certain Agricultural Produce.