Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Embrace best agric practices for increased food exporting benefits, experts tell farmers



Over 70 per cent of foods exported from Nigeria are being rejected abroad due to various reasons.

According to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, poor export trade facilitation for regulated products, poor quality packages and labeling, lack of global certification among others are some factors responsible with huge financial losses to the exporters and the country at large.

In May this year, one of the agencies responsible for promoting quality assurance, NAFDAC, complained that over 70 per cent of home made products were rejected by European countries and The United States of America.

Despite the numerous quality assurance by NAFDAC who certifies all foods as good, Nigerian agricultural products have continued to encounter significant challenges in the global market for safety reasons, thus rendering the efforts to diversify the foreign currency earning capabilities useless.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria has also experienced a substantial food trade deficit of N4.92tn between 2018 and 2022.

Experts who expressed worry that a country brimming with entrepreneurial spirit and rich resources is facing the challenge of sales in the global market, highlighted way out.

A micro-nutritionist, Adetokumbo Adewale said government must establish silos in all states, thorough product testing and address the issue of port congestion where most of these products are delayed.

While advocating funding of the country’s research institutes, she said the problem of packaging in Nigeria is poor and that innovation keeps on changing due to the market trend of consumer demand and behaviours.

An Agric-business Expert, Ede Manjara while attributing the cause to the outbreak covid -19 pandemic, said meticulous considerations are needed to ensure the quality, safety, and market readiness of packaged items before export.

A Farmer, Ezra Yasusak called on government to build the capacity of farmers and exporters to ensure that well produced products meet global standards.

Others said considering the country’s rich potentials, its journey to global competitiveness is possible if government will be committed to raising standards and ensuring the quality of its exports.

They also tasked food production companies to obtain global certification to avoid losses.