The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations reports that agriculture contributed to 22.35% of Nigeria’s GDP between January and March 2021. In 2018, Nigerians spent an average of 73% of their income on food and beverages products. However, experts noted that most Nigerians will go for food and beverages products made outside of the country when faced with a choice.
Both Nigeria’s food manufacturing and agricultural sectors already contribute massively to the economy. However, there is so much more room for growth, and the food manufacturing industry lags behind. For example, the processed food industry is expected to grow by tens of billions of dollars in the next thirty years. But, as things stand, Nigeria depends on imports to meet the demand for most of its processed foods. Between 2016 and 2019, Nigeria spent N3.35 trillion on agricultural imports. That is four times more than it made from agricultural exports within that period (N803 billion).
In 2018, food imports made up roughly 11% of Nigeria’s total imports. That is over $5.8 billion worth of agricultural products. These imports included rice, sugar, wheat, dairy products, frozen fish, vegetable oil, etc. Most of them arrived from Brazil, China, Indonesia, South Africa, the US, and the UK. More importantly, however, some of these products are also produced locally.