FACAN seeks task force on export products
To prevent the rejection of Nigeria’s agricultural and processed food exports, the government should up an inspectorate unit in key markets.
This is the advice of Federation of Agricultural Commodities Association Nigeria (FACAN) President, Dr. Victor Iyama.
The European Union (EU) ban on agric exports, such as beans, continues, even as it is mandatory for exports of perishable items to the EU to be certified under the vigilance of plant protection inspectors.
In the last three years, export of Nigerian agro commodities has faced maximum Sanitary & Phytosanitary (SPS) hurdles in Europe and the United States’ markets.
Speaking with The Nation, Iyama said the association was ready to set up a compliance task force that would ensure that farmers comply with the specific concerns raised by European and United States’importers on food safety that affect health and safety, including excessive chemicals, pesticides, synthetic colour and microbes.
If given the mandate to set up the inspectorate taskforce, Iyama stressed that quality and safety would be top priorities and that the association would ensure that farm gate produce meet the standards.
The FACAN chief added that the problem of agro commodities not meeting global standards was of concern and that farmers should take the issue serious.
He added that there the need to monitor the supply chain to avoid rejectable products infiltering the system.
According to Iyama, there is a plan to support agro-industries to venture into the export market. He said the association’s goal was to drive transformation through the commodity value chains and to achieve self-sufficiency in key commodities, such as rice, cocoa, palm oil, horticulture and cashew.
The strategy, he explained, was to ensure that farmers know the markets for products, activities required along the supply chain, and the standard and volume of products.
According to Iyama, import refusals by the US and Europe paint a grim picture of Nigerian agro and food products.