Nigeria’s first consignment of yams is expected to depart the nation’s shore for United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom on Wednesday, June 28, 2017.
This move was part of government efforts to increase the non-oil exports of the country as well as increase the country’s share of the global agricultural export market.
In recent time, the Nigerian Minister of Agriculture and Rural development, Dr Audu Ogbeh has revealed that the government is making all efforts to regain its share of global commodity market as most advanced nations having been rejecting agricultural produce from the country due to poor quality control in the country.
In March 2017, the European Union and the USA banned the export of some food products from Nigeria citing poor quality and use of a harmful substance to preserve them. Towards, avoiding the repeat of such incident, the government has also empowered the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Services (NAQS) to make it more responsive to issues of safety and phytosanitary standards in food exports.
The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communication to the Minister, Mr Kayode Oyeleye also noted that the government is working towards boosting the productive capacity of more yam farmers and others.
He noted that export of this agricultural produce would bring more income to the farmers, hence government making efforts to forestall scarcity of some these commodities in the country as a result of lower farm yield and massive export.
The Technical Adviser on Quality Control and Standards in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs Heather R. Akanni also revealed that the government also constituted a special committee of Federal government agencies dealing with food export, with the support of United Nations Industrial Development (UNIDO) to ensure Nigerian origin food products meet the require international standard.
“The commitment to end the embarrassing rejection of Nigerian commodity and produce at the international market is irrevocable. The health of Nigerians is also paramount and the populace needs good quality food as well.”
“There is nothing like Nigerian or local standards, but international standards to which we cannot but adhere in our local handling of food, consumption and export drive.”
“Government is evolving policy frameworks to drastically reduce the rejection of agricultural products originating from Nigeria, while also strengthening the regulatory and inspection authorities to ensure that they live up to their mandates, and to vigorously pursue investments in quality control, standardisation and adherence to international standards and best practices,” she stated.
The special committee has the following federal government agencies as members include the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Customs Service, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC).
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