- Agric Export Rises by 150% in One Year
Agricultural commodities export exceeded 150 per cent in the last one year, the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) has said.
The increase was a result of the agency’s sustained sensitisation to ensure exporters of agricultural products complied with international standards.
Making this known to reporters, during the kick-off of sensitisation on export of various crops, the Coordinating Director of NAQS, Dr. Vincent Isegbe, said the exercise was aimed at knowing how to export agric produce.
“Agric export has increased by 150 per cent in the last one year, according to the Managing Director of Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA). We believe it has gone beyond that percentage,” Isegbe said, adding that the agency was going from state to state, and also using radio and television to complement its efforts.
He said, for instance, that there was a high demand for Nigeria’s yam, which exporters were responding to with the agency’s support.
“Yam export has continued ever since and people are even getting more and more orders to export yam. Somebody has about 400, 000 tubers of yam to export and he is doing it.
“After that incident, he is still exporting yams. We are working together with him as an agency and he has no issues,” Isegbe said.
The NAQS boss, however, in a statement signed by its Head, Media and Public Relations, Dr. Gozie Nwodo, condemned the use of some containers to pack commodities for export, thereby endangering the nation’s agric economy.
The statement reads in part: “Following several queries and complaints from importers, exporters and other stakeholders regarding the issue of packaging materials for shipping cargoes, it has become necessary to reiterate that NAQS is concerned with the Solid Wood Packaging Materials (SWPM), such as pallets, crates, boxes, dunnages, etc, in containerised cargoes that were imported because of their potential of serving as pathways for pests and diseases introduction that can endanger the nation’s agric economy.”
“All importation of SWPM must be accompanied with import permit from NAQS or must have been treated, and this is stated on the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), markings/logo according to International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM).
“Further, all treated SWPM imported into Nigeria should carry IPPC marking or logo, stating the type of treatment administered (Methyl Bromide or Heat Treatment). Already, imported SWPM must be re-treated if they are to be reused or recycled. Importers and exporters are to take note, and contact NAQS for proper guidance.”