Nigeria - Country Commercial Guide

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2021-10-13


Units: $ millions





2021 (Estimated)

Total Local Production





Total Exports





Total Imports





Imports from the U.S.





Total Market Size





Exchange Rate: 1 USD





Total Market Size = (Total Local Production + Total Imports) – (Total Exports)

Data Sources: 

Total Local Production: Industry Contacts

Total Exports: UN Comtrade

Total Imports: UN Comtrade

Imports from U.S.: U.S. Census Bureau

In pursuit of its economic diversification agenda, the government of Nigeria (GON) has continued to prioritize agricultural development in its policy and budgetary plans. The target is to build a strong agribusiness economy capable of meeting domestic food demand goals, generating export revenues, and creating jobs. The increased national focus on the sector has generated opportunities in the whole agricultural value chain, with farm inputs supply for production. GON has framed various policies to push for mechanization, leading to increased adoption of tractors in agricultural production.

It has also introduced and implemented several initiatives, key amongst which is the Anchor Borrowers Program (ABP) managed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to support small holder farmers with funding and farm inputs. Under the ABP, state governments and private sector organizations, including food-processing companies, acting as “the anchor,” can access funds at single digit rates from the CBN to provide inputs to farmers to produce agricultural commodities.

The program which has so far been successful, is currently facing challenges because of loan default by borrowers. The dire security issues in the country have significantly hampered farmers’ ability to work on their farms, thus affecting food production. Food shortages persist and have triggered rising inflation.  GON-imposed forex restriction on importers of 43 items, including food products, has incentivized private sector investments in the agricultural value chain.

The agricultural tractor and implements market are expected to grow steadily and maintain a year-over-year increase of 4.4% during 2019-2024 according to a report by Businesswire. However, total imports have declined since 2019 due to the slow economic growth which has been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. In 2018, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture signed an MOU with John Deere for the supply of 10,000 units of farm tractors over a five-year period. The tractors are expected to be assembled in Nigeria.

In January 2019, GON launched its Green Imperative Program in partnership with the More Food International Program of the Brazilian government to support small farmers with mechanization. Under this partnership, Brazil will fund the project with a loan of $1.1 billion over a period of 15 years and supply 10,000 tractors to Nigeria. None of these tractor assembly and supply programs have fully taken off due to budget constraints. However, several state governments purchase new tractors most years to encourage small farmers in their regions.

Private sector investors are developing their out-grower network of farmers and enabling them with mechanization, technology and farm extension assistance but are more inclined towards buying used equipment. The government remains the biggest purchaser of new farm machinery. It is advisable for U.S. suppliers to retain local distributors/representatives with market development capabilities and experience selling to the public sector. Nigerian buyers are price sensitive and tend to favor cheaper, basic, and easy-to-use-and-maintain farm machinery. Credit and good local aftersales support are selling points U.S. exporters may apply to gain market share and increase competitiveness. Agricultural tractors imported as complete knock down (CKD) or semi-knock down (SKD) units for local assembly attract zero duties and zero Value-Added Tax (VAT). Although no duties are imposed on Fully Built (FB) units, 7.5% VAT does apply. Used tractors are surcharged 35% import duty and 7.5% VAT.

Leading Sub-Sectors

According to the CBN, the poultry industry is the country’s biggest agricultural sub-sector, with a market size of about $4 billion. The chicken population is estimated to be 165 million birds, producing approximately 650,000 and 300,000 metric tons of eggs and meat respectively. Nonetheless, this falls short of the market demand of over 200 million birds, 790,000 metric tons of egg and 1,500,000 metric tons of meat. Despite the GON’s ban on imported poultry, smugglers have continued to take advantage of the supply gap to bring in products through land borders. Opportunities exist for poultry production and feed milling machinery, incubators, extruders, feed additives, livestock health drugs and vaccines, and chicken processing equipment. In recent years, demand for egg powder making machines has spiked due to reoccurring egg glut.

Post-harvest losses remain a perennial challenge to Nigeria. Farmers lose more than 50% of their produce due to lack of storage equipment. Therefore, farms, processing companies, food suppliers, and vendors are looking for affordable storage and preservation technologies suited to local conditions. The nascent cold chain industry offers enormous opportunities.

Nigeria has a large fertilizer market.  However, GON has imposed foreign exchange restrictions on imported inorganic fertilizers to protect local manufacturers.  Nevertheless, there has been an increase in the demand for soil organic matter and crop growth improvement products in the past three years.


The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) outlines the following opportunities for trade and investments in the agricultural value chain.

  • Mechanized crop production such as rice, maize, millet, cassava, sugar cane, tomato, cocoa, palm kernel, rubber
  • Food processing and preservation across the value chains of the sector
  • Beef processing and packaging
  • Fruit juice and canned fruits
  • Beverages and confectionary
  • Cash crop processing – cocoa, palm kernel, and rubber
  • Exploitation of timber and wood processing activities
  • Livestock cultivation – dairy and aquaculture (fisheries) development
  • Horticulture development.
  • Agricultural input supplies and machinery
  • Water resources development especially for irrigation and flood control infrastructure
  • Commodity trading and transportation
  • Development and fabrication of appropriate small-scale mechanized technologies for on-farming processing and secondary processing of agricultural produce
  • Development of private irrigation facilities
  • Production of improved seeds and agro-chemicals
  • Production of veterinary drug, vaccine, chemical, feeds and feeds ingredients
  • Market research

Local Trade Shows

AgrikExpo West Africa

International Conference Center

Abuja, Nigeria


Agra Innovate West Africa

Landmark Center

Lagos, Nigeria


Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD)

For more sector information, e-mail: Chamberlain Eke, Commercial Specialist: