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Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Nigeria Develops New Schemes for Agricultural Export to Europe

Olusegun Awolowo, Executive Director. Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, says the Federal Government has developed "Conduits of Excellence (CoE)" to ensure consistent and stringent quality management for all exportable products. Mr. Awolowo told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Sunday that the Federal Government had also set up a committee for the realisation of the objective. According to him, the committee will work under the technical guidance of United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, UNIDO. He also said the committee would also develop the code of practice and Standard Operating Procedure, SOP, for production and processing of selected products. Mr. Awolowo explained that government initiated the National Quality Infrastructure Project, NQIP, and conduit of excellence to ensure that an enabling environment and materials were provided to enhance quality and standards. According to him, the Standards Organization of Nigeria, SON, has two new laboratories for product testing in the country. He said that the issues of packing and labelling were also being looked into in enhancing acceptability of Nigerian products in the international market. Mr. Awolowo said Nigeria became serious to address the rejection of Nigerian products, when the EU in 2016 placed a temporary suspension on the export of beans from Nigeria due.He attributed the problem mainly to inappropriate residues and aflatoxin. Aflatoxin refers to any of several carcinogenic mycotoxins that are produced, especially in stored agricultural crops, for example peanut by moulds. "We must realise that the EU has programmed a system tagged "Rapid Alert" which triggers any slight indication of residual anomaly in imports into EU," he said. Mr. Awolowo said that in response to the challenge, the council brought together 17 other agencies and the Organized Private Sector, OPS, to form an Inter-Agency Technical Committee on Zero Reject. According to him, the inter-agency committee has been transformed to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Zero Reject of Nigerian Products under the supervision of Ministers of Agriculture, and Trade and Investment.

Source: Allafrica