Friday, 14 August 2015

Nigerian Export Promotion Sensitises Farmers, Vows to Return to EU Market




News48hrs.com

As part of the effort to diversify Nigeria’s economy, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council has reiterated its determination to ensuring that the European Union (EU) suspends its ban on some of the country’s agricultural produce prior to June 2016.

News48hrs.com recalled that EU had last two month ago banned some food [post_ad] exports from Nigeria, among which were beans, sesame seeds, melon seeds, dried fish and meat, peanut chips and palm oil, from Europe till June 2016.

Speaking to News48hrs.com at the end of workshop on the International Best Farming practices organised by the Owerri Zonal Office of Nigerian Export Promotion Council, on Thursday, the Zonal Controller, Princess Estelle Igwe, says they are fully determined to bounce back soonest.

According to Igwe, the federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari is zero tolerant to oil, hence the commission has taking the bull by the horn through grassroot sensitisation of the farmers and food processors and exporters on the best and natural ways of transporting agricultural produce.

The action packed programme held at King’s David Hotel, Awka, was attended by a select members of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), representatives of 3 registered crops, and others charged to assist in training others.
  
While lamenting that the effects of the ban on Nigeria, Igwe said she was optimised that the populace would never experience such again.

Also speaking, the Anambra State Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon. Afam Mbanefo says that Anambra State is a fertile land for agriculture, assuring that the citizenry without key into the training to get portable produce on cassava, rice, and others as envisaged by Governor Willie Obiano, who according to him, is a lover of agriculture.

 Observers see this as step in right direction for a nation that desperately needs to expand its export basket to boost domestic agricultural activities and create jobs, especially now the price of oil diminishes on the international market.

It would be recalled that the European Food Safety Authority, had during the rejection of beans, explained that it  was found to contain between 0.03mg per kilogramme to 4.6mg/kg of dichlorvos pesticide, when the acceptable maximum residue limit is 0.01mg/kg; a reflection of our inability to adhere to global standards, and this has come to haunt us at the international level again.

The pesticide, we know is applied when the products are being prepared for export. The EU said it had issued 50 notifications to Nigerian beans exporters since January 2013. It is baffling that the Nigerian authorities didn’t take any significant steps to reverse the situation. Likewise, the United Kingdom also issued 13 border rejection alerts to Nigerian beans exporters between January and June 2015. 

In 2013 for instance, 24 commodities of Nigerian origin exported to the UK were rejected, while the figure climbed to 42 food products in 2014. Some of the items were said to have been contaminated by aflatoxins, making them unfit for consumption.

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