Stakeholders in the sunflower industry are meeting to look at ways of up-scaling domestic production and encourage the establishment of processing plants, with a view to increasing demand in the continent as created by the Russian-Ukraine war.
The summit will take a critical look at the industry, with a view to up-scaling production and attracting private sector investments along the value chain.
Experts have projected that since Nigeria has the highest potential of sunflower production in Africa, the country can earn about $1.5billion from the export of its seeds and another $2bn from export of other processed products, such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, oil and other food products.
Speaking during a meeting with relevant stakeholders, chaired by the executive director/chief executive officer of the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), the national president of the National Sunflower Growers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NSUNGPMAN), Jibrin K. Bukar, said Nigeria had a huge potential in the sunflower industry in Africa.
He said Nigeria was a major producer of sunflower seeds in Africa and one of the strategic players in the global market space because of the huge potentials of the product in the country.
“Presently, the country produces about 450,000 metric tonnes annually. It is expected to increase to over 600,000 metric tonnes if few large-scale privately owned sunflower processing plants are established,” he said.
Alhaji Bukar listed the states with potential for production to include Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, Yobe, Jigawa, Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Niger, FCT, Nassarawa, Plateau, Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Ondo, Ogun, Oyo, Ekiti, Edo, Delta, Cross River, Ebonyi, Enugu and Anambra.
He further said, “It is believed that the country’s production would further increase to over 750,000 metric tonnes annually when more cottage processing plants are established within the production clusters to promote efficiency in the upstream.
“In the export market, Nigeria grew from a paltry $14,000 in 2017 after the formation of the association to over $171,000 in 2021.”
Bukar said Nigeria had the highest potentials to produce sunflower seeds and its products among the over 15 countries like Tanzania, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Egypt, Ethiopia, Morocco, Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Angola, South Africa, Rwanda and Sudan, with South Africa in the lead with a production output of over 700,000 tonnes.
In his remarks, the executive director/chief executive officer of the Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Dr Ezra Yakusak, said the anticipated national sunflower summit would be a huge success since farmers and the processors are willing to work with other stakeholders.
“As a trade promotion organisation, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council sees the urgent need for the sunflower value chain to be developed to the level of being internationally acceptable and highly competitive in the global market, with the high hope of growing our export volume and value. The planned summit will no doubt create extensive public awareness and visibility for the sunflower sub-sector,” he said.