Data shows that demand for transporting agro products by air is becoming increasingly global due to the need for consumers to access the products in their original state, devoid of chemical processing and preservation associated with these goods.
According to Marketwatch, the global air freight market size was valued at $299.7 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach $448 billion by 2028, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.95 percent between 2023-2028.
Unfortunately, Nigeria’s goal of actualizing an export-driven economy through air cargo is still a far cry from expectations. Reports show that the country loses around $1 billion annually to export opportunities in agro commodities due to a lack of operational and investment drive in the industry as well as in the aviation sector. The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), in a report, stated that Nigeria’s annual air cargo import stood at about 131 million tons, while it exports only 16 million tons of commodities by air.
However, Alex Nwuba, president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Nigeria, has emphasized the relevance of building cargo airports strategically where there are comparative advantages for traders, farmers, and airlines. According to Nwuba the federal government ought to provide information on things that are being produced, where the market for those things are and the service providers to enable stakeholders to exploit the opportunities the market offers.