The Federal Ministry of ommerce and Industry has said that Nigeria realised about $378 million (about N56.7 billion) from export of agricultural produce in 2009
The report was contained in the ministryâ€™s export statistics made available mediaÂ recentlyÂ in Lagos .
The statistics showed that the export was 15 per cent higher than $341.8 million (about N 51.2 billion) recorded in 2008.
The report noted that the nationâ€™s total exported commodities increased from 271 million tonnes recorded in 2008 to 282.4 million tonnes in 2009.
The report listed some of the produce exported during the period under review to include cocoa beans, cocoa butter, cocoa cake, ginger, sesame seeds and cashew nuts.
Others were sheanuts, cotton lint, palm kernel cake, shea butter, cashew kernel, rubber, chilies, hibiscus flower, among others.
The statistics also showed that some produce such as cocoa beans export had increase from 159,189 tonnes in 2008 to 201,643.5 tonnes in 2009.
Palm kernel, according to the statistics, also increased from 1, 693 tonnes the previous year to 4, 860 tonnes in 2009
NAN reports that other products such as cocoa butter, cocoa cake, cocoa powder, sesame seeds, cashew nut, sheanuts, shea butter and ginger, however, recorded appreciable drop.
Mr John Adetola, the Head of Federal Produce Inspection Department, expressed delight over the increase in the export of some of the produce.
Adetola expressed worries over some produce such as cocoa butter, cocoa cake, cotton that nosedived in 2009.
He ascribed the impressive record to the department which crack_down on smugglers who engage in shady means of exporting produce.
â€œWe have major registered whare houses and anyone that stocks commodity illegally and transport directly to the various ports for shipment was discouraged,â€ he said.
The Cocoa Processor Association of Nigeria , ( COPAN ) said that the semi processed commodity dropped because of high cost of diesel and inconsistency in payment of Export Promotion Grant (EEG).
The Executive Secretary of the association, Mr Felix Olajide noted that EEG was put in place to cushion the harsh impact of doing business in Nigeria .
Mr Tunji Owoeye, the President of National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), blamed low yield of cashew nuts on aged cashew trees
He urged the government to encourage cashew tree regeneration and motivate the general public toÂ Â Â return to the farm to boost export trade.
Mr Effiong Bassey, National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria opined that the government did not get it right for lifting ban on the importation palm oil.
According to him, it is disheartening that Nigeria is not benefiting from the lucrative palm oil business at the international market.
â€œGovernment should be committed to the sector in terms of funding and initiate policies that would make the sector thrive.
â€œThe government should also under_study Maylasia, which is the leading palm oil producer in the world and replicate it in Nigeria ,â€ he said.