How To Export Bitter Kola From Nigeria

Bitter kola, known scientifically as Garcinia kola, is not only a cornerstone of traditional African medicine but also a significant player in the export market, contributing positively to the Nigerian economy. This seed, celebrated for its adaptogenic properties, aids organisms in adapting to stress and serves as a potent anti-infective agent.

Its wide use in treating various infectious diseases, coupled with the recent global interest highlighted by dietary supplements containing its extracts, has positioned Bitter Kola as a valuable export commodity.

The seasonal harvesting of Garcinia kola, primarily between July and October, marks a critical period for local economies and the broader Nigerian export sector. As the fruit finds its way to international markets, it bolsters Nigeria’s export revenues, diversifies the economy, and enhances the livelihoods of countless farmers and traders involved in its cultivation and distribution.

This export-dynamic not only elevates the profile of Bitter Kola on the global stage but also underscores its importance in fostering economic resilience and growth within Nigeria.

Top Exporting & Importing Countries of Bitter Kola

Bitter Kola (Garcinia kola) is a highly valued commodity in various traditional and alternative medicine markets around the world, leading to a significant export from countries where it’s abundant to those where demand outstrips supply. Here’s an overview of the top exporting and importing countries of Bitter Kola:

Top Exporting Countries of Bitter Kola

  1. Nigeria: Nigeria is the leading exporter of Bitter Kola, thanks to its abundant growth in the country’s tropical rainforests. The nation has a well-established network of local farmers and exporters who supply Bitter Kola globally.
  2. Ghana: Following Nigeria, Ghana is another significant exporter of Bitter Kola. The country’s climatic conditions are favorable for Garcinia kola cultivation, making it a notable player in the export market.
  3. Ivory Coast: The Ivory Coast, with its suitable agricultural conditions, also contributes to the export of Bitter Kola, primarily to neighboring countries and beyond.
  4. Cameroon: Cameroon’s diverse ecological zones allow for the cultivation of Bitter Kola, positioning it as a notable exporter, especially to markets in Europe and Asia.

Top Importing Countries of Bitter Kola

  1. United States: The US imports a considerable amount of Bitter Kola due to its popularity in dietary supplements and health foods, driven by the African diaspora and growing interest in natural remedies.
  2. United Kingdom: With a significant African community and increasing interest in herbal and alternative medicines, the UK is a major importer of Bitter Kola.
  3. China: China imports Bitter Kola for its use in traditional Chinese medicine and other health-related products, valuing its medicinal properties.
  4. India: India’s traditional Ayurvedic medicine market also sees a demand for Bitter Kola, making it a significant importer, particularly for its pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries.
  5. France: France, with its diverse population and interest in alternative medicines, imports Bitter Kola for both community-specific uses and broader health and wellness applications.

The trade of Bitter Kola is influenced by cultural, medicinal, and dietary practices in various countries, with exporting countries primarily located in West Africa where the plant is native.

Importing countries span across continents, reflecting the global demand for natural and alternative medicinal products. The international trade of Bitter Kola continues to grow as awareness of its health benefits expands.

How To Safely Source for Your Bitter (Garcinia) Kola Produce

To ensure the safe and sustainable sourcing of Bitter Kola (Garcinia kola), a comprehensive approach that emphasizes ethical practices, quality, and sustainability is essential.

The foundation for safely sourcing Bitter Kola lies in establishing direct and ethical relationships with local farmers and cooperatives. These partnerships should be built on transparency, fair trade, and mutual respect. By engaging directly with those who cultivate and harvest Bitter Kola, businesses can gain insights into the sourcing process, ensure the quality of the produce, and contribute to the economic well-being of local communities.

Quality assurance is paramount in the sourcing of Bitter Kola. This involves setting clear criteria for the selection of Bitter Kola, including physical attributes like size, color, and dryness, as well as health and safety standards. Implementing rigorous quality control measures at the point of sourcing helps in maintaining a consistent quality that meets both local and international standards.

Sustainable sourcing practices are essential for the long-term viability of Bitter Kola. This involves encouraging and supporting farming practices that are environmentally friendly and sustainable, ensuring that Bitter Kola cultivation does not lead to deforestation or degradation of natural habitats.

In the modern sourcing landscape, technology plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety and traceability of Bitter Kola. Using technological solutions can enhance the efficiency of the sourcing process, provide transparency in the supply chain, and ensure the traceability of Bitter Kola from the farm to the end consumer.

In conclusion, safely sourcing Bitter Kola requires a multi-staged approach that encompasses ethical relationships with local farmers, adherence to quality and compliance standards, a commitment to sustainability, and the effective use of technology.

How to Export Bitter Kola from Nigeria

Exporting Bitter Kola from Nigeria involves a series of strategic steps, including understanding regulatory requirements, and tapping into the global demand for this valuable commodity.

Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to successfully export Bitter kola from Nigeria:

1. Market Research and Identification

Understand the international demand for Bitter Kola, identifying key markets where the product is highly valued for its medicinal properties.

Identify target countries that have a high demand for Bitter kola, like the USA, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, China, Japan, India, Thailand, and Indonesia considering cultural, medicinal, and dietary preferences.

2. Legal and Regulatory Compliance

Ensure your business is registered with the Nigerian Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to gain legitimacy. Obtain necessary export licenses and permits from the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and other relevant authorities.

Familiarize yourself with and adhere to international quality standards required in target markets to ensure compliance and acceptance.

3. Sourcing and Quality Assurance

Source high-quality Bitter Kola from reliable farmers or local markets. Building a network of dependable suppliers is crucial for consistency in quality and quantity.

Implement strict quality control measures to ensure Bitter Kola meets both local and international health and safety standards.

4. Packaging and Labeling

Invest in proper packaging that preserves the freshness and quality of Bitter Kola during transit. Consider the specific requirements of your target market, such as moisture-resistant and durable packaging materials. Ensure your products are correctly labeled with all necessary information, including product name, origin, weight, and any other information required by the destination country.

5. Logistics and Shipping

Partner with a reliable logistics company experienced in exporting goods from Nigeria to your target market. They can provide valuable insights on the best shipping methods, costs, and documentation required.

Prepare and submit all necessary export documentation required for customs clearance in Nigeria and the destination country, including bills of lading, commercial invoices, and export licenses.

6. Marketing and Sales

Establish connections with potential buyers and distributors in your target market. This can be achieved through trade fairs, B2B marketplaces, and digital marketing strategies.

Develop a competitive pricing strategy that covers your costs and ensures profitability while being attractive to your target market.

International Price of Bitter (Garcinia) Kola Per Metric Ton

The international pricing of Bitter Kola (Garcinia kola) per metric ton is influenced by a myriad of factors, reflecting the complexity and dynamism of the global market. These factors range from the grade and processing level of the Bitter kola, which directly impacts its market value, to the age of the seeds, with fresher seeds often fetching higher prices. The volume of the order also plays a crucial role, as larger orders typically lower the price per ton due to economies of scale.

Seasonal variations significantly affect pricing, with Bitter Kola commanding higher prices outside its main harvest season from July to October. Additionally, logistical costs, including freight and haulage, along with the markup percentage, import duties, and the geographical distance from Nigeria, further complicate pricing structures. The technological infrastructure available in the country of origin and the nature of the relationship between buyers and sellers can also influence the final cost.

As of July 2023, the price range for Bitter Kola in the international market varied significantly, from $12,000 to $25,000 per metric ton, equivalent to $12 to $25 per kilogram.

This wide range underscores the volatility and sensitivity of Bitter Kola prices to the aforementioned factors, making market analysis and strategic sourcing essential for stakeholders in the Bitter Kola trade.


How do I get buyers for export from Nigeria? Finding buyers for exports from Nigeria involves several strategies. Networking at international trade fairs, utilizing online B2B marketplaces, engaging with foreign trade missions in Nigeria, and digital marketing targeting specific regions and industries are effective methods.

Building a strong online presence and leveraging social media and SEO can also attract international buyers.

Does Nigeria export Kola nuts? Yes, Nigeria exports kola nuts. It is one of the country’s traditional export commodities, primarily used in cultural ceremonies across West Africa and by manufacturers of food and beverages globally. Nigeria, being one of the largest producers, exports kola nuts to countries in Africa, Europe, and America.

What is the best way to preserve bitter kola? The best way to preserve Bitter Kola (Garcinia kola) is by keeping it dry and storing it in a cool, well-ventilated area. Bitter kola should be kept in airtight containers or bags to protect it from moisture and pests. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight, as this can reduce its potency and shelf life.

How many years does it take for bitter kola to grow? Bitter Kola trees can take about 10–15 years to mature and start producing fruit. The growth and fruiting times can vary depending on the specific growing conditions and care provided. Once mature, the trees can produce fruit annually, typically between July and October.

How to find export buyers for free? Finding export buyers for free can be achieved through various means. Utilizing free online trade portals and B2B marketplaces, participating in forums and groups related to your industry, and leveraging social media platforms like LinkedIn to connect with potential buyers are some ways.

Attending free trade seminars and webinars and utilizing the services of export promotion agencies in Nigeria can also provide valuable connections.

How much does it cost to get an export license in Nigeria? The cost of obtaining an export license in Nigeria can vary depending on the type of products being exported and the specific requirements of the regulatory bodies involved.

Typically, registering with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) is a crucial step, and as of the latest available information, the registration fee is relatively affordable.

However, additional costs may be incurred for other certifications and permits required for specific products or industries. It’s advisable to consult directly with the NEPC or relevant regulatory bodies for the most current fees and requirements.

Export & Import Bitter Kola (Garcinia) The Right Way With Us

Exporting bitter kola (Garcinia kola) the right way is paramount, and with, you have a partner you can trust. As a global agribusiness order sourcing and fulfillment company, we specialize in the bitter/garcinia cola industry, providing an end-to-end supply chain solution that simplifies the export process.

How To Get Nigeria Certificate of Origin For Exports

At, our commitment goes beyond just fulfilling orders. We are dedicated to empowering our clients with knowledge. We offer comprehensive guidance on how to import or export agricultural produce, including bitter kola, from Nigeria to any part of the world. Our platform serves as a resource for individuals and businesses looking to navigate the complexities of the global agricultural market successfully.

For more information on how you can start exporting or importing bitter kola and other agricultural products, visit our website at Join us in revolutionizing the way agricultural products are traded globally, with a focus on quality, reliability, and educational support.

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