Nigeria starts export of Agri-commodities to China

NIGERIA – The Nigerian government, through the National Youth Service Corps program in partnership with Zeenab Foods Ltd, operators of Nigeria Exporters Hub, has commenced the export of about 17,000MT of Agro-commodities to China.

The partners are exporting ginger, sesame seeds, cacciatore, and soybean, based on the request, Director, of Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development, NYSC, Omotade Folorunso, and the Chairman, Zeenab Foods, Victor Ayemere, disclosed during the inauguration of the first container of agro-commodities to be exported by corps members through the indigenous firm.

He noted that the Nigerian government gave Zeenab the mandate to set up and operate the Nigeria Export Trade House in China, and in other far east countries to ensure the continuous export of Agro-commodities.

In this season only, the partners had a target of exporting 100 containers of ginger, sesame seeds, cacciatore, and soybeans.

“We aim to get as many people as possible to join in the export trade to China, and presently we have a demand for 17,000MT of Agro-produce and we are still trying to meet up this demand,” Ayemere stated.

“When orders are placed, there are specifications to which the exporter must adhere. In our case, we have quality control officers who make sure our goods are in line with the specifications.”

African farm exports to China are still somewhat restricted because sanitary and phytosanitary agreements are not yet in place for many products, according to the International Trade Centre report, Enhancing Africa’s Agricultural Exports to China.

Formalizing relevant agreements and improving the use of appropriate farming technologies offers these countries the opportunity to benefit from almost $150 billion of unrealized farm export potential.

With China’s President’s promise to import US$300 billion of African agricultural produce by 2025 last year, 3 South African countries are looking to export avocados to China.

South Africa, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe are also lobbying to export avocados to the most populous country in the world. South Africa is China’s key source market for fruit such as lemons, grapefruit, oranges, and soft citrus.

Avocados are increasingly popular among China’s new health-conscious middle class, with trendy chefs now adding the “butter fruit” to many dishes.

Beijing’s ambassador to South Africa, Chen Xiaodong, has said China is committed to imports worth US$100 billion from South Africa by 2025, focusing on “more high-quality products, including avocados”.

Tanzania has become the second African nation to export fresh avocados to China, following Kenya in July, –under a deal signed during President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s visit to Beijing.

After a dip in 2019 and 2020 caused by Covid-19 curbs, Chinese imports of the fruit rose again to 41,374 tonnes in 2021, according to US data.

China also recently waived tariffs on 98 percent of taxable items from dozens of least-developed countries (LDCs), most of them in Africa.

The move is in line with Xi’s promise at last year’s Forum on China–Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), to open up “green lanes” for African agricultural products, speed up inspection and quarantine, and widen the tariff-free items basket, so that imports hit US$300 billion by 2025.

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