NIGERIA – Nigeria’s hibiscus farming soars as growers association project USD 62.4 million earnings for export in 2023 given the 70 percent surge in the past six months.

According to the Association of Hibiscus Flower Exporters of Nigeria, the country exported 40 feet of 1,983 containers, totaling 23,796 metric tons.

Nigeria’s hibiscus cultivation has surged recently following the lift of the ban imposed on Nigeria’s hibiscus export to Mexico.

The commodity was banned by the Mexican government in 2017 following a pest infestation found in some of the consignment shipped from Nigeria to Mexico leaving many farmers and exporters jobless and out of business.

The ban was lifted in 2022 after a series of interventions by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) including the establishment of largest hibiscus fumigation center in Nigeria’s Kano State to strengthen its production in line with best practices for exportation. 

Currently, Nigeria exports 85% of its Hibiscus to Mexico and the country is expected to pay over USD 3 billion annually to Nigeria for the flower as the trade partnerships between the two countries flourish.

Consistent with the Business Day briefing, a popular Mexican drink by the name Agua de Jamaica attributes to the surge in demand.

The drink is made from steeped hibiscus flowers, diluted with water, and sweetened with sugar.

“Hibiscus flower is used to make a variety of drinks in Mexico,” Adedoyin Adesanya, director of operations, AgroEknor – an agro commodity trading firm who exports large volumes of Hibiscus explained.

It also crucial to note that the demand for hibiscus is not only specific to Mexico but is also a global trend.

A global hibiscus extract market outlook report by Expert Market Research (EMR), outlines that the global hibiscus extract market is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of approximately 5% in the forecast period of 2023-2028.

The cosmetics and personal care industry significantly contributes to the increasing demand further boosting the growth of the hibiscus extract industry globally.

As such, hibiscus extracts have been widely embraced cosmetic raw material and are used in anti-cellulite products and other formulations targeting the human skin.

Nigeria is currently basking in this hibiscus demand wave hence the current remarkable culinary expansion of this traditional West African ingredient to the Mexican kitchen where it is used to make a distinct variation of hibiscus tea.

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