The National President of the Federation of Agricultural Commodities Association of Nigeria (FACAN), Dr. Victor Iyama, urged the FG to monitor farmers’ compliance with international standards to reduce rejections of agric exports.
The presentation was titled ” The problems of exporting finished agricultural products”.
Dr. Iyama said Nigeria has the capability to become a major agricultural commodity trading hub that would take advantage of global demand for agricultural commodities. He said U.S and E.U were currently the largest importers of the nation’s agricultural produce.
He said there is an increasing awareness about microbial and food safety among consumers and this has made the EU create a communication portal called Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) where they notify members about unsafe products when detected.
In addition, he stated that huge amounts were being lost to rejection and that it can only be curtailed if the government can issue Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) certificates to genuine exporters.
Other things that can boost agricultural export were incentives such as easy access to loans, better infrastructure, tax concessions, encouraging private investors, good policy, and governance and constant power supply to keep the momentum of exports growth high.
He also said FACAN was ready to work with the government to ensure compliance with internationally approved SPS standards that would boost international trade in the agricultural sector.
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Investment and Technology Promotion Office (ITPO) in Nigeria have initiated a programme to help Nigeria diversify its economy.
The programme will be implemented by government institutions and private sectors and would involve promotional activities to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, the establishment of an agro-processing sector.