NAFDAC, SON, others step up actions against agric produce rejections

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Prof Moji Adeyeye, DG,  National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has urged exporters of food, drugs and cosmetics products to always comply with required local and international safety standards.

Prof Adeyeye, who  made the appeal at the 2018 National Agricultural Show Symposium in Tudun Wada, Nasarawa State on Wednesday, said that compliance to safety standard would make semi-processed and processed Nigerian agricultural produce to sell more in the international market.

The NAFDAC Boss, who was represented by Mrs Carol Obelle,  Deputy Director, NAFDAC Ports Inspection Directorate, noted that  NAFDAC only certify semi-processed and processed agricultural produce which directly affects the health of citizens.

“In other to improve competitiveness, quality and safety of our food products, ensure zero rejection at the international market and develop market, the exporters must comply with policy and safety standard both locally and internationally in line with country export requirements,’’ Prof Adeyeye stated.

Prof Adeyeye noted that compliance would eliminate rejection of Nigerian agricultural produce on the international market.

Also, speaking at the occasion,  Dr Abiodun Akinjo, the Director, Animal Quarantine of the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), appealed to exporters and prospective exporters to come to the service for proper registration and traceability.

Abiodun said that the pytho-sanitary certificate issued by the service was to ensure adequate sanitary measures of agricultural products.

National Coordinator of the National Agricultural Foundation of Nigeria (NAFN), Dr Samuel Negedu,  said that the theme of the symposium was ` Strategies for Promoting Export of Agricultural Products’.  The show was organised by NAFRN.

Negedu noted that prospective players or exporters lacked information to facilitate market development, transportation and export.

He appealed to relevant agencies to provide information channels to enable farmers, exporters and other actors to know what is required of them to embark on exports

Negedu noted that success of the show would raise awareness to reduce cases of rejection of Nigerian agriculture produce at the international markets.

Mr Usman Mohammed, an Assistant Director in SON, said that his organisation had over 288 different standards on agricultural produce and regretted that most exporters boycott and do not follow guidelines for export.

He said that it was the major reason for the rejection of Nigerian produce at the international market adding that SON had upgraded its standards to comply with international standards.

“We are part of international Organisation of Standardisation, whatever requirement we have concerning exportation; it must go in line with our standard.

“The first thing to do is to inform SON of your intentions that is the product you want to export and the country you want to export to, then we will carry out inspection on the commodity you want to export, carry the test and ensure that your product meet the minimum requirement of the standard.

“Once we are able to confirm that, we will give you a certificate which will enable you to have SON logo on your product; with this you can export your products. “This standard can be reviewed from time to time,’’ he said.

The agriculture show commenced on Oct. 16 and would end by Oct. 19.

Biola Lawal

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