Farmers can now begin to penetrate the much talked about Indian pigeon pea market, valued at $100 billion, Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service, (NAQS) has said.
The move, according to the agency, was part of its campaign and enforcement drive to change the narratives of Nigeria’s agricultural produce exports.
Director-General, NAQS, Dr. Vincent Isegbe, who made these known in Abuja at a media parley.
He said the government was working to ensure that all stakeholders across the value chain meet the relevant sanitary and phytosanitary requirements meant for the start up of the pigeon pea.
Isegbe explained that NAQS was putting necessary measures in collaboration with other government agencies to stem the tide of rejection of some Nigerian agricultural produce in foreign markets, as a result of quality defects.
“Our mission is to catalyze the harnessing of the export potentials of Nigerian agricultural resources,” he said. “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 pea 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.
“We are also working assiduously to expand our export frontiers. In addition to the traditional agro-export items, we have identified underutilized but high premium emerging agro-commodities such as sesame, soya bean, cinnamon, pigeon pea, sugar cane, honey and snail that will revolutionize Nigeria’s non-oil export business as we know it.
“In the next couple of weeks, NAQS will launch ‘’Export Certification Value Chain (ECVC)’’ for Onions, Garlic, Honey, Cow horns/hooves, Sunflower, Nsukka Yellow Pepper, Sesame, Gum Arabic and Tumeric. ECVC details the export eligibility standards for the respective items and outlines the actionable instructions that stakeholders have to adhere to for their produce to pass NAQS inspection and certification tests which are preconditions for issuance of the phytosanitary certificate (i.e export permit).”
On why agricultural produce from Nigeria was still being rejected in the international market, especially in the European Union countries, Isegbe explained that many countries prohibit the import of produce with mycotoxin contamination, high pesticide residue, microbial contamination, sloppy packaging and labeling.
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