Nigeria’s agricultural sector experienced a sharp decline in the first quarter of 2023, as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracted by 0.90% (year-on-year) in real terms.
This was disclosed by the National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday in the first quarter report for 2023.
The agricultural sector comprises four sub-sectors: Crop Production, Livestock, Forestry, and Fishing. Crop Production remained the dominant sub-sector, accounting for 86.85% of the total nominal value of the sector in Q1 2023.
The contraction in Nigeria’s agricultural sector in the first quarter of 2023, marks the first negative growth rate recorded in the sector since 2016, despite significant government investments in agricultural interventions.
One of the main reasons for the poor performance of the sector was the scarcity of foreign exchange, which affected the importation of inputs and machinery.
Another major reason for the poor performance was the naira scarcity experienced in the first quarter of 2023 which affected businesses across the country, especially farmers.
The contraction of the sector could worsen the already high levels of unemployment, underemployment, and poverty in the country.