Nigeria: Wheat Importation Declines By 16.1% In 2022


Nigeria imported durum wheat worth N753.6 billion in the first nine months of 2022, a 16.1% decline compared to N898.2 billion worth of durum wheat importation during the comparable period in 2021.

NewsBeatng reports that this was disclosed in a report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Note that in the full year 2021, Nigeria imported wheat worth N1.29 trillion. Meanwhile, it appears 2022 numbers will fall short of the previous year’s import despite increased population/demand.

The decline in Nigeria’s wheat import may be attributed to the continuous confrontation between Russia and Ukraine since February 2022, as most of Nigeria’s wheat import comes from these two countries.

The decline in Nigeria’s wheat import is of particular interest considering how much Nigerians consume wheat. Notably, wheat is the third most widely consumed gain in the country. It is used in the production of bread, livestock feeds amongst others. The CBN said:

Wheat is the third most widely consumed grain in Nigeria after maize and rice. It is estimated that the country only produces about 1% (63,000 metric tons) of the 5-6 million metric tons of the commodity consumed annually in Nigeria. This enormous demand-supply gap is bridged with over $2 billion spent annually on wheat importation. This has made wheat the second highest contributor to the country’s food import bill.”

However, despite this enormous demand for wheat in the country, its import has dropped in the past nine months, especially at a time when the nation’s agricultural import surged to N512.91 billion in Q3 2022 and N1.42 trillion between January and September 2022.

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The recent development could be an opportunity for Nigeria to improve its local production to meet the demand gap in the country and save itself a massive $2 billion in massive import bill payments for the importation of wheat.

The Central Bank earlier in the year noted that it was increasing funds to stimulate wheat growing in the country in a bid to redirect cash from imported goods following the surge in the price of wheat in the global market.

“In the light of the circumstances faced in wheat cultivation in Nigeria, the bank through its flagship Anchor Borrower Programme, in 2020, commenced a strategic approach targeted at facilitating import substitution by promoting self-sufficiency in the wheat value chain,” the CBN governor, represented by Hajiya Sa’adatu Ibrahim, the CBN Controller, Dutse Branch stated at 2021/2022 Brown Revolution Field Day/Harvest in Jigawa State earlier in the year.

According to the apex bank, it had also educated over 250 extension workers with a total reach of over 120,000 farmers in order to use the GAP to spread knowledge to farmers in their particular areas.

So far, the CBN has disbursed a cumulative N1.07 trillion to over 4.6 million smallholder farmers cultivating 21 commodities across the country under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).

Similarly, under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS) the CBN has also disbursed a cumulative N745.31 billion to finance 680 large-scale agricultural projects.

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