….embarks on massive sensitization on commodity export
By Gabriel Ewepu
ABUJA-THE Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service, NAQS, yesterday, disclosed that agricultural commodities export has exceeded150 per cent in the last one year.
This was made known by the Coordinating Director, NAQS, Dr Vincent Isegbe, while encouraging farmers and exporters of agric commodities following the commencement of massive sensitization on export process on various crops.
Isegbe said the increase was as a result of the intensity placed on sensitization by the agency to ensure exporters of agricultural products comply with international standards.
“We are on massive sensitizations on how to go about export of agricultural produce. We are going from state to state, and we are on radio and television thing.
“Agricultural export has increase of 150 per cent in the last one year according to the Managing Director of Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, and we believe it has gone beyond that percentage.”
On yam export and others the NAQS boss said there have been high demands for the commodity, which exporters are responding to with the support of the agency.
“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 incidence he has exported yams and is still exporting and we are working together with him as an agency and he has no issues”, he added.
However, the NAQS has decried in a statement signed by the Head, Media and Public Relations, NAQS, Dr Gozie Nwodo, where the position of the agency was made known on the use of some containers in packaging agricultural commodities that are imported into the country, therefore endangering the nation’s agricultural 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 for Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service, NAQS, to reiterate the following; NAQS is concerned about Solid Wood Packaging Materials, SWPM, such as pallets, crates, boxes, dunnages, etc, in containerized cargoes imported into Nigeria because of their potential of serving as pathways for pests and diseases introduction that can endanger the nation’s agricultural economy.
“All importation of SWPM must be accompanied with import permit from NAQS or must have been treated, and treatment given stated on the International Plant Protection Convention, PPC, markings/logo according to International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures, ISPM, 15 guidelines.
“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 please to take note, and contact NAQS for proper guidance”, it added.