Food exports is one of the wheels driving most nations economy and agriculture accounted for more than 90% of the common wealth and resources of Nigeria; with the country being sufficient in food production and made wealthy by agricultural exports.
The increase in agricultural exports had greatly benefited Nigeria. The relevance of food exports to the financial development and progress of Nigeria helped to accelerate her overall wellbeing.
Food exports accounted for more than 70 percent of the GNP of Nigeria at independence, twenty five years later; it was almost a complete reversal with food items accounting for over 50 percent of imports.
In the past, Nigeria was famous for the export of groundnut and palm kernel oil. But over the years the rate of export of this produce has reduced. Unfortunately, after the discovery of oil in Nigeria, Agriculture has been relegated to the background, statistics turned and the lands deserted thereby relying more on importation of foods.
The country began to experience low earnings from export of agricultural commodities due to decrease in production of agricultural commodities. On the export map, we had also fast taken the back position in the statistics of leading food exporters in the world.
For many years, Nigeria could not produce enough food and agricultural products to feed itself and food exports became impossible, thereby spending billions of dollars and trillions of naira in food imports to make up for the deficit in food production back home because the country was still heavily dependent on crude oil although many parts of the country were fertile and potentially productive, per capita food out declined, grain imports then increased more than seven times.
Million hectares of land covered by forests and woodlands are believed to have agricultural potential. From the North to the South, East to the West of Nigeria, there are abundant varieties of agricultural products and resources that are found to grow and suitable for cultivation in the soils in the regions and states.
A few years back, local Nigerian companies commenced exporting groundnuts, cashew nuts, sesame seeds, moringa seeds, Ginger, cocoa etc, which was a right step in the right direction, promoting nigerian food exports.
Now, let us take a look at a tip of the iceberg of the many vast exportable agricultural resources found in different states in Nigeria:
The main oil palm producing states are: Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Ekiti, Delta, Bayelsa, Ogun, Rivers, Anambra, Ondo, Enugu, Imo, Oyo, Abia, Edo, and Ogun.
The main areas of rice cultivation in the country include the states of Kebbi, Kano, Ebonyi, Anambra, Niger and Taraba, Kebbi is the main rice producing state in Nigeria.
The major producers of cotton are Kaduna, Ondo, Kano, Katsina ,Oyo, Kwara, Ogun, Zamfara, Jigawa, Sokoto, and Kebbi.
Kano, Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto, Jigawa, Bauchi, Katsina and Zamfara States are the main producers of the commodity.
Kaduna State stands as the highest producer of the crop while states like Gombe, Bauchi, Benue, Nassarawa are major producers.
Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Yobe, Jigawa, Gombe, Taraba, Plateau, Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Nasarawa ,Niger and Zamfara. Though Borno and Yobe states are the major producers in Nigeria.
The main areas of production in Nigeria are Jigawa, Kano, Bauchi states. Also produced in Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, and Borno states.
Niger, Kano, Jigawa, Zamfara,Kebbi, Sokoto, Katsina, Kaduna, Adamawa, Yobe, Borno, Taraba, Plateau, Nasarawa, Bauchi, and Gombe States are the major producers of the commodity.
The major yam producing states in Nigeria are: Taraba, Benue, Niger and Nassarawa. Benue state is however the largest producer.
Main producing states are Imo, Ondo, Anambra, Kogi, Taraba, Cross River, Enugu, Ogun, Benue, Delta, and Edo.
Enugu, Oyo, Anambra, Kogi, Osun, Abia, Ondo, Benue, Cross River, Imo, Ekiti, Ebonyi, Kwara and Nassarawa.
The Central states of Nigeria such as Niger, Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau, and Adamawa are the major producers.
The major growing/production areas in Nigeria are: Borno, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kano, Gombe and Yobe
Benue, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Kebbi, Kwara, Oyo, Jigawa, Borno, Bauchi, Lagos, Sokoto, Zamfara and FCT stands as the main producing states of Soybean in Nigeria.
Edo, Delta, Ondo, Ogun, Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Rivers, Ebonyi and Bayelsa States.
The major producing areas in order of priority are Kano, Nasarawa, Jigawa and Benue States. Other important areas of production are found in Yobe, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Gombe, Kwara, Niger, Bauchi and Plateau States.
Some of the states where sugar cane can be produced in Nigeria include Sokoto, Taraba, Niger, Kogi, Kwara and most northern states.
Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa, Katsina, Sokoto, Plateau and Bauchi states
Ondo, Cross River, Ogun, Edo, Delta Ekiti, Osun and Oyo States of Nigeria which are the largest producers.
While tomatoes are cultivated in most states in the country, Jigawa, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba, Kano lead the pack in the commercial cultivation of the crop.
Zamfara, Niger, Plateau, Katsina, Kaduna, Benue, Kano, Bauchi, and Borno state
Nigeria’s northern states of Borno, Yobe, Jigawa, Kano, Zamfara, Katsina, Adamawa, Sokoto and Kebbi, are major wheat growing areas.
The highest producing states in the country are: Ondo, Osun, Cross River, Ekiti, Oyo, and Edo.
Plantain is produced in the following states in Nigeria: Lagos, Ondo, Ogun, Oyo, Oshun, Ekiti, Edo, Delta, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Imo, Bayelsa, Abia and Ebonyi.
It is pertinent to note that 90% of these agricultural produces are cultivated in the Northern part of the country. Akwa Ibom State government is doing a lot in the area of agriculture.
The state is harnessing the potentials in the sector to ensure food security and food exports for for the country,” “The state is providing the enabling environment to support the entire agricultural value chain,” said Deborah Adesua Ameli, chief operating officer, Agroyields – an agricultural and commodity trading company.
In view of the above precept, the question is; what level have we attained in the height of the agricultural revolution in the country.
Akwa Ibom state is much abundantly blessed with a more fertile soil than the Northerners; even our climate is more favourable than the atmosphere in the Northern part of the country. Our lands are still arable! Our youths are still able! Why can’t we make ourselves the envy of nations in these agricultural products and take the lead in food exports history of the nation!