- EU May Reverse Ban on Nigerian Agricultural Produce
The Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service has said that the European Union is considering reversing its ban on the nation’s agricultural produce.
The Coordinating Director of the agency, Dr. Vincent Isegbe, disclosed this in Lagos at the opening of a two-day training workshop on plant health inspection and certification of vegetables for exporters and farmers.
He said that the EU had promised to reverse the ban if necessary measures were put in place before 2019.
He said that the European Union ban on Nigeria’s beans had a negative impact on the economy, adding that there was a need to avoid future rejection of Nigeria’s agricultural commodities.
According to him, the agency is doing its best to revert the situation.
He said, “We have had issues in the past concerning beans where the European Union suspended Nigeria for three years for beans export. That is not good for us because it means that all the farmers who are producing beans can no more export the quantity that they used to export.
“The good news is that the EU said if we could put the process in place earlier than 2019, it will reverse its decision. So, that is where we are.”
Isegbe said that the two-day training was centred on vegetables because it was one of Nigeria’s major export commodities.
He said because of the sensitive processes involved in the handling of vegetables, there was a need to put in place stringent inspection and certification procedures that would sustain its export, especially at a time the government was placing emphasis on non-oil export.
A statement quoted him as saying, “Vegetable is a delicate product and because it is almost ready to eat, it needs more stringent inspection and certification procedures since most times, we eat it fresh.
“Now that the revenue from oil is falling, we need to go back to our first love, which is agriculture. We were doing well in that area in the 1960s and early ’70’s but since the ’80’s and upwards, there has not been a lot of increase in agricultural produce exportation. That is why we have to put in place, processes that will make our commodities to be accepted internationally.”