Nigerians became fond of foreign currencies like dollar and pound sterling after the devaluation of the Naira when its value plummeted considerably and these

Currencies appreciated enormously. Many traveled to foreign Countries like Britain and USA to work in pursuit of these currencies while others resorted to export of local items without adequate knowledge and preparations.

Cassava was popularized by the last administration when it announced that we can be earning about $5 billion annually from its export.  Most people rushed into it without any preparation and fore knowledge of the business and the industry.


What is Export?

Export is the sales of goods across national boundaries.  Export business is sophisticated and requires matures and enlightened minds that can understand and interpret the intricacies of modern international economics, politics and their implications.  Anybody can buy and sell but anybody cannot export.  A potential exporter must be informed, knowledgeable and experienced.  He must have an impeccable knowledge of the product he wants to export and should be able to expertly articulate their qualities and characteristics.  He should be familiar with their applications, technical qualities and restrictions.  Thorough knowledge of a product enhances the integrity of the exporter, strengthens the confidence of the buyer and also makes the sellers claims more authentic.


Advantages of Export

The advantages are numerous:  it enables one to earn diversified income through a mixed grill of currencies.  It brings the world to your door steps by providing opportunities to interact with different nationalities and cultures.  It breaks down communication barriers and creates impetus for better global understanding.  It provides goods and services and opportunities that mere not conceived of.  Export takes advantages of the opportunities created by currency devaluation.  It creates dynamic incentives for higher productivity, industrialization, research, innovation, competition, economic growth and modernization.  Through export a nation exposes her products and people to global competition and that enables her to know where she ranks with others.  A nation that does not encourage competition among its citizens can never compete with the rest of the world.


Cassava Export and Import

There are three main cassava products that are generally exported and they are:  Cassava chips, Cassava pellets and Cassava tapioca or starch and flour.  Chips are pellets mostly imported by EU countries for animal feeds while China imports chips and starch for production of ethanol.  EU importer prefers pellets over chips because over 50 percent of the chips get broken by the time they get to their destinations.

The major exporters of cassava products are:  Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.  They export chips, pellets, starch and flour.  Thailand in the largest exporter, accounting for about 94 percent of the world total export of cassava products.

The major importers are EU nations, China, Japan, South Korea and the United States.  The EU imported about 6.9million tones in 2000.

Pellets and chips currently dominate the World Trade in cassava products.  This trend may change in future due to the potential uses of cassava.  For instance, the inclusion of ethanol in petrol and the high cost of crude oil may divert more cassava products to ethanol production. America is considering dropping corn in their ethanol production due to food security. If they accept cassava, starch may take preeminence.


Nigeria currently has very large domestic market for cassava because of the demand of composite flour. When we satisfy the demand for 10% and 20% composite flour, we may begin to pay more attention to external market. If however, we can increase our local production of raw cassava to 100,000 metric tons per annum, we can then accommodate the demands of both domestic and external markets.