CBN Harps on the Need for Value Addition in Agric Sector

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SWITZERLAND, MAY 08

Mr. Folashodun Shonubi, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Deputy Governor, Operations, on Thursday warned that the country’s agricultural exports are vulnerable to external shocks and also called for the improvement of commodities’ value chain to value addition.

He pointed out that the country was exposed to the dictates of external forces owing to its poor control over demand and supply of export commodities.

“But again, if we are to export just cocoa, it is still vulnerable to external shocks and we don’t have control over demand; we don’t have control oversupply.

“In 2014 for instance, Africa earned about $2.4 billion exporting coffee to Europe while Germany alone earned about $3.8 billion exporting Africa’s coffee. And what is the difference? Value addition.”

Shonubi spoke at a web conference titled “Financing Agribusiness Post-COVID-19: Opportunities, Threats and Options” which was organized by the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce. He noted that while diversifying the economy into agriculture and primary production is a good option, value addition remained the cash magnet for the sector.

He said that expanding into grains and other staples created a strong potential to enlarging the government’s revenue base as the demand for domestic food is likely to increase to fund consumption and raw materials for industries.

Osita Nwanisobi who spoke on behalf of Shonubi said beyond production, there are vast opportunities across the agricultural value chain in the manufacturing of inputs, agro-tech initiatives, on-farm and secondary domestic processing, livestock and poultry processing, commodity trading, transportation and market research.

In addition, he said that the increasing demand for foodstuff and raw materials by households and businesses coupled with the growing restrictions on food export presents an opportunity to be self-sufficient in food production and provision of raw materials for industries.

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