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Nigeria imported wheat, ethanol, others worth $626m from US – Report

Nigeria imported wheat, ethanol and other products worth $626.59 million from the United States of America in 2021.

This is based on data from the United States Department of Agriculture. According to the data, wheat, along with ethanol and food preparation, ranked first with a total value of $626.59 million.

Wine and related products, fish and seafood, intermediate products, essential oils, dairy products, tobacco, and distilled spirits were also on the list.

More so, the value of agricultural commodities exported by the United States to Nigeria increased by 45% between 2020 and 2021.

Nigeria spent $487 million on agricultural products from the United States in 2020, down from $653.27 million in 2019. In 2021, the figure shot up to $710.25 million.

Wheat alone consumed $503.63 million of that total, representing the amount paid to import 1.6 million metric tonnes of the crop, according to the data.

Tobacco and distilled spirits were the least expensive, costing $3.82 million and $3.72 million, respectively.

Nigeria, despite its vast land, largely depends on imported food products to feed its large population, as the country’s agricultural sector has underperformed for decades, resulting in massive shortfalls in staples such as rice and maize.

Nigeria spent N1.97 trillion on food and agricultural imports in 2021, accounting for approximately 9.44 per cent of the country’s total import bill, the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics reported.

With vast fields in the majority of Nigeria submerged by current floods, the cost is predicted to increase in the coming months.

Kabir Ibrahim, president of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, stated that Nigeria imported 13,000 metric tonnes of wheat seeds in 2021 to boost domestic production.

He told Premium Times, “We have always imported wheat because we have a deficit, what we produce internally cannot meet our demand. We imported 13,000 metric tons of wheat seed from Mexico in 2021 to be able to meet our needs locally, so I believe this year, except for the global weather condition, we are hopeful we will be able to upscale the production of wheat locally,”

“Our internal productivity is affected by insecurity and now flooding. Other factors include low mechanization and poor variety of seeds. Also, we are not highly innovative as we should be in agriculture and our policies are not properly implemented.

“Whether it is wheat, ethanol, or whatsoever, all these things are affected by inflation and inflation is global. We can only escape part of inflation if we produce internally. Those things we don’t have any comparative advantage; we have to get them outside but as time goes on, we will overcome them,” Mr. Ibrahim added

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