Nigeria imports $3.49 billion worth of fish, eggs, milk and other


According to data from the International Trade Center, fish, poultry eggs, milk, dairy products and fish products worth $3.49 billion were imported into Nigeria in the last two years.
During the reporting period, fish products worth $2.14 billion were imported into the country, while dairy products worth $1.35 billion were imported into the country. the country.
According to the International Trade Organization, fish products include: live fish, frozen fish, fish fillets and other fish meat, whether or not minced, fresh, chilled or frozen; fish, dried, salted or in brine; smoked fish; fish meals, meals and pellets.
They also included crustaceans, shelled or not, live, fresh, chilled, frozen, dried, salted or in brine, even smoked; shellfish flours, meals and pellets; molluscs, whether or not smoked, whether or not in shell, live, fresh, chilled, frozen, dried, salted or in brine; shellfish meals, meals and pellets.
Meals, meals and pellets of fish, crustaceans, molluscs and other aquatic invertebrates were also imported.
Imported dairy products included: milk and cream; buttermilk, curdled milk and cream, yoghurt, kefir and other fermented or acidified milk and cream; whey; products consisting of natural milk constituents, whether or not containing added sugar or other sweetening matter; butter, including dehydrated butter and ghee, and other fats and oils derived from milk; dairy spreads.
Imports also included cheese and curd; birds’ eggs, in shell, fresh, preserved or cooked; birds’ eggs, not in shell, and egg yolks, fresh, dried, steamed or boiled in water, moulded, frozen or otherwise preserved; natural honey; turtle eggs, bird nests and other edible products of animal origin.
This is despite acknowledgment by stakeholders that the continued importation of fish and dairy products is depleting the country’s foreign exchange reserves and the ability of local farmers to sell their produce.
Recently, Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Mohammed Mahmood revealed that the country’s annual fish import bill of around 2.4 million metric tons of frozen fish is straining its foreign exchange reserves. .
He said, “Nigeria is a very big country and we need about 3.6 million metric tonnes (MMT) per year but we can only produce 1.2 MMT through craftsmanship, industry and aquaculture.
“The deficit is supplemented by the import of frozen fish, which is used to fill the gap. It’s not really that we’re going to bring 2.5 million metric tonnes into the country, but we have a situation that we’re supplementing with imports of frozen fish.
He added: “However, it is regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria as only the CBN Governor issues the Form-M to anyone wishing to import frozen fish into the country, so the monetary toll in terms of foreign exchange used to import frozen fish. must be given by the CBN.
According to the federal government, there were 10 million primary and secondary fish producers in the country.
Speaking at the African Union inter-departmental internal coordination meeting, Mahmood said the country is working to reduce its fish import bill in collaboration with the private sector through mainstreaming upstream.
He revealed that to improve local production and reduce imports, the government was promoting backward integration through commercial aquaculture production for local consumption and exports.

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