Insecurity and high demand by flour and feed industries have hindered Nigeria from realizing N640 billion ($1.28 billion) from the 1.25 million tonnes of soybean oilseed produced locally between the 2020/21 season.
Soybean oil is currently rated as the second most consumed vegetable oil in the world after palm oil.
It was gathered that the high demand for the product has reached 80 million tonnes across the world, while the global price has gone up by 30 per cent from $875 to $1,025 per tonne within one year.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s report, soybean consumption has also been driven by the poultry, fishery, livestock and edible oil industries in the Nigerian market.
In the 2020 season, the country produced 875,000 tonnes of the grain valued N448 billion ($896.87 million), but only 7,000 tonnes valued at N3.56 billion ($7.17 million) was exported.
Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that a total of N14.2 billion soybeans oilseed was exported in 2019, following 60 per cent increase in production through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s anchor borrower intervention.
Before the CBN intervention, statistics by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)’s shipping data revealed that the country imported some 825,000 tonnes of soy grains from the United States between 2015 and 2017 as infant food manufacturers in the country depended on soybeans as an alternative to cow milk because of its high nutritional value.
The grain has also become the major ingredient in producing chicken and livestock feeds across the country by poultry and livestock farmers.