The Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) is set to expand Nigeria’s export frontiers with the launch of Export Certification Value Chain (ECVC) for Onions, Garlic, Honey, Cow horn/hooves, Sunflower, Nsukka Yellow pepper, Sesame, Gum Arabic and Tumeric.
The Director General, Dr. Vincent Isegbe, who stated this recently in a chart with agric reporters in Abuja, saying that the ECVC will detail the export eligibility standards for the respective items and outlines the actionable instructions that stakeholders have to adhere to for their produce to pass quarantine inspection and certification tests which are preconditions for issuance of the phytosanitary certificate.
He said the Service went further to map states with the capacity to produce high value agro export commodities on industrial scale, adding that the exploitation of Nigeria’s comparative advantage in many agricultural commodities will proliferate opportunities for wealth creation.
“If the country produces as much as she can produce and export as much as her natural endowment allows, we will create thousands of jobs, improve livelihoods of families and place the foreign revenue from the agriculture sector on the upward trajectory.
“Nigeria has a fair climate, vast arable land and the largest population in Africa. These elements are sufficient to make the country an agricultural superpower. We were actually on the path to becoming one of the great food baskets of the world when the siren voice of crude oil diverted our attention. Today, one of the staple counterfactuals of national discourse is what we might have grown to be as a country and a people if we had kept faith with agriculture.
He said NAQS is committed to simulating the export of Nigerian agricultural produce insisting that “we are ever ready to assist any Nigerian who is interested in expiring the prospects that abound in the land.
“Our mission is to catalyse the harnessing of the export potentials of Nigeria agricultural resources. We recently conducted a crop pest survey on pigeon pea, sorghum and groundnut. The result of our pigeon pea survey has paved a way for Nigeria to penetrate the $100 billion worth pigeon market of India. In the same vein, our crop pest survey on sorghum has opened the door for Nigeria to export forage sorghum to China. A local company is expected to ship out the first batch of its consignment in the first quarter of this year,” he said.
Isegbe further explained that as the agency tasked with the promotion of export of agricultural produce, the Service is leading government’s drive to stem the tide of the rejection of some Nigerian agricultural produce in foreign markets due to quality defects.
He also stated that the agency is implementing a programme of backward integration for better export products. “This intervention codenamed ” Export Improvement Initiative” is tailored to ensure that all relevant activities performed from the fields where the prospective export crops are cultivated up to the point of shipment are consistent with the standard conditions and protocols,” he explained.