The Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), at the weekend said that the country generated $35 million within nine months in 2017 from hibiscus (zobo) export.
The Coordinating Director, NAQS, Dr Vincent Isegbe, disclosed this at the ‘National Survey of 13 Agricultural Commodities by the Inter-ministerial Committee on Prevention and Control of Mycotoxins in Agricultural Commodities’ meeting held in Abuja.
Isegbe said further that the essence of the Committee was to know the prevalence type of mycotoxins and on which commodities, in order to help guide policy makers decide on what to do next and also open the country’s economy to opportunities in research, development, public health disease prevention and the general wellbeing of the nation.
According to him, hibiscus popularly called zobo has high commercial value that state governments could key into, which already Jigawa State has and now the largest producer of the commodity, followed by other states like Kastina, Kano, Zamfara, Kebbi, Zamfara, Borno and Yobe.
While, states like Edo, Kwara could cultivate zobo plant due to the dry weather they have and would also boost their revenue generation.
“In the last one year there has been increase in exports of agricultural commodities. Hibiscus alone in one country, Mexico, generated $35 million in nine months. Last year we made more than $20 million, and that is just one commodity.
“In the last one year we have done what we call export improvement initiative for so many commodities. That means we are bringing those commodities that were lying low to ensure that they are properly positioned for export.
“They use it for organic colouring agents for drinks and wines, and as natural blended drink as we drink zobo here in Nigeria, the pharmaceuticals also use it for colouring because its organic.
“In 2016 it generated $20 million, while in 2017 it generated $35 million within nine months. 1, 983 containers were exported to Mexico alone, while other countries in Europe like Germany, Greece, Latvia, and countries of former USSR.”