Tuesday, September 19, 2023
DID YOU KNOW? Foods Exported From Nigeria Are Rejected By U.S., U.K.,...

DID YOU KNOW? Foods Exported From Nigeria Are Rejected By U.S., U.K., Others; Here’s Why


A rather disturbing bit of information has been disclosed by stakeholders in the Nigeria agricultural food subsector as they decried the rejection of food crops produced locally by top western countries.

This was made known by the stakeholders during the launch of agrochemical Safety Ambassadors in Yola, Adamawa State capital, an initiative of Feed the Future Nigeria Rural Resilience Activity, jointly implemented by Mercy Corps and Save the Children.

According to Punch, stakeholders who are mostly farmers lamented their produce for export had been rejected because the produce contained high residues of agrochemical substances.

This is just as the Adamawa State Commissioner for Agriculture and Livestock Development, Daware Iya-Umar, also lamented that locally produced food crops for export get barred from European markets because agrochemical residues arising from wrong use or application of agrochemicals.

He said, “Most of our goods were returned while exporting, based on the fact that they could not pass the test of quality control. That quality control might entail, the chemical content in our products due to lack of adequate knowledge on the application of agrochemicals.”

Other stakeholders including agricultural extension agents, agrochemical dealers who spoke through their representatives, all blamed the improper use and application of agrochemicals for making it difficult for Nigerian food produce to pass standards set for food safety.

Raymond Abogonye, acting deputy chief of party, Feed the Future Initiative, the United States government’s global hunger and food security initiative, said the United State government is very concerned about safety of the food we eat as well as who produce the food for, as motive behind the launch of agro-safety ambassadors.

He noted that the US and it’s European allies have food safety standards which must be adhered to from crop production up to storage but which had yet to observed by most farmers, particularly in their application and use of agrochemicals.

He said, agro-safety ambassadors which is the first level of awareness in addressing the challenge, in the pilot scheme, is expected to reach 500,000 farmers in the four states of Adamawa, Gombe, Borno and Yobe, where the activity is being implemented in the North East.

“Since we can’t reach everybody we want to use the facilitative market approach to include those who sell the chemicals themselves as those preaching the message of awareness to the farmers.

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With over 1,000 agrochemical dealers on our register recruited for the campaign and each targeting 50 farmers on the safety use and application of agrochemicals,” he added.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives on Tuesday accused the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) of creating 18 illegal seats at the ports.

The House therefore demanded that the customs relax the current cumbersome procedures that have been identified as root cause of ports congestions and difficulties in doing business in the country.

According to Independent, the House, through its Committee on Customs and Excise, while asking the Nigerian Shippers’ Council to give stiffer penalties to erring shipping companies, also said that it would not treat the 2022 budget if no provisions are made to repair Customs scanners.

The committee at an interactive session with relevant stakeholders to explore solutions to these challenges said that it was interested in seeing how to make the ports competitive and to correct the wrong procedures that have been responsible for the avoidable congestions in the country’s ports.

Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Leke Abejide, said that the avoidable congestions have become the headache and bane of economic development for the past six years.

Abejide said, “Bonded containers that are supposed to be dropped at sea side by the shipping lines are not being allocated to another bonded terminals together with other containers for the said bonded terminals to take the whole vessel loads to its terminal first on the cost of the importers before the bonded terminal which is the final destination pick of the container to their terminal.

“Apart from the cost which is abnormal and triple, there is time consumption which leads to delays and make nonsense of the FGN policy on Ease of Doing Business.

“Shippers’ council in today’s meeting should tell us what it is doing to monitor the excesses of all the shipping lines in trying to kill the export business by leaving export full containers at the ports and load empty containers for juicy import freight that are in the range of $17,000 per container when they know that import is a leakage to the economy while export is an injection into the economy.

“It is equally important for Nigerian Shippers’ Council to tell this committee the sanctions that will be meted on the shipping lines refusing to refund containers deposit immediately their empty containers are returned even with the evidence from interchange showing the date and time such empty containers were returned to them.”

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