Nigeria is expected to produce 23 million metric tonnes (mmt) of maize in 2022. This will represent a 12% increase from what was produced in 2021.
Although the country is in the middle of rising inflation and also experienced an unprecedented number of farmers and herdsmen clashes which had forced many people out of their farm settlements. This year’s output however will defy this circumstance.
The Central Bank of Nigeria introduced several intervention programmes and cheaper credit facilities which have helped mitigate the higher cost of diesel and fertiliser.
Maize along with rice and wheat are the most consumed grains in Nigeria. Maize is processed into cereals or livestock feed. Nigerians also consume a high percentage of cooked or roasted maize.
According to Edwin Chigozie Uche, President of Maize Growers and Processors Association of Nigeria, “A lot of funds have been advanced to farmers using the Anchor Borrowers Programme. It has helped to scale up production and scale up output because virtually every component of the value chain is being addressed”
Anchor Borrowers Programme is an initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria to help smallholder farmers to increase their access to loans in order to produce quality agricultural output that meets international standards.
In 2020, due to the increased quantity of maize imported to Nigeria, the central bank banned the issuance of forex for the importation of cereal. The bank’s decision has played a major role in the improved production.
Although Nigeria’s maize production will see an increase of 12% this year, it is however short of the country’s annual demand of 30 million metric tonnes. There will be a gap of 7 million tonnes which will be filled with imports.
Nigeria has a population of more than 200 million people while a large percentage of the people are farmers. The country is the second largest producer of maize in Africa and it aims to end maize importation in no distance time.
Nigeria’s Untapped Coffee Sector Holds the Key to $2 Billion Annual Revenue
Amidst declining foreign reserves and the need for alternative revenue streams, Nigeria’s overlooked coffee industry emerges as a potential powerhouse capable of contributing over $2 billion annually to foreign exchange earnings.
Industry experts emphasize the necessity for strategic investments and modernized farming practices to unlock the full economic potential of the coffee sector.
While Nigeria is not among the top 10 coffee producers in Africa, the country’s untapped coffee industry holds the promise of significant financial gains, job creation, and sustainable agricultural development.
The urgency for revitalization comes as Nigeria grapples with a decline in foreign reserves, dropping from $38.25 billion in September 2022 to $33.23 billion in the third quarter of 2023.
Salihu Imam, Chairman of the National Coffee and Tea Association of Nigeria, Oyo State, highlighted the global significance of coffee, stating, “Coffee is the second most traded/valuable of all commodities and first in Agricultural commodities in the world.”
The potential economic impact extends beyond immediate financial gains, with Nigeria positioning itself as a key player in the global coffee trade.
Despite its potential, Nigeria’s coffee exports remain modest, producing less than one million bags annually.
In contrast, Ethiopia, the largest coffee exporter in Africa, is projected to produce 8.25 million bags. Experts suggest that Nigeria, with its unique coffee varieties, could generate $2 billion annually.
Segun Lary-Lean, President of the West Africa Specialty Coffee Association, emphasized the robust global demand for coffee, comparing it to water in Western countries.
He noted the significant earnings of coffee-producing nations like Brazil, Colombia, Vietnam, and Kenya, which experienced a 17% increase in coffee earnings.
In a call to action, industry players urge the Federal Government to prioritize strategic investments, modernized farming practices, and value-added processing to harness the coffee sector’s full economic benefits.
Unlocking the potential of Nigeria’s coffee industry stands not only as a financial opportunity but as a catalyst for broader economic growth and diversification.
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