Quarantine Service Launches Export Certification Value Chain Soon
Plans are underway by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS)to launch its Export Certification Value Chain (ECVC) on selected agricultural products in the country as part of efforts to meet export eligibility standards.
The Director General of the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) Dr Vincent Isegbe disclosed this at the maiden media parley with Agricultural Correspondents in Abuja.
According to Dr Isegbe, the ECVC will involve agricultural products like Onions, Garlic, Honey, Cow horns/hooves, Sunflower, Nsukka Yellow Pepper, Sesame, Gum Arabic and Tumeric.
He said the ECVC details the export eligibility standards for the respective items and outlines the actionable instructions that stakeholders must adhere to for their produce to pass NAQS inspection and certification tests which are preconditions for issuance of export permit or phytosanitary certificate.
Dr Isegbe noted that the mission of NAQS is to catalyze the harnessing of the export potentials of Nigerian agricultural resources.
“We recently conducted a crop pest survey on pigeon pea, sorghum and groundnut. The result of our pigeon pea survey has paved a way for Nigeria to penetrate the $100 billion worth pigeon pea market of India”, he said.
“In the same vein, our crop pest survey on sorghum has opened the door for Nigeria to export forage sorghum to China. A local company is expected to ship out the first batch of its consignment in the first quarter of this year”, he further explained.
Speaking specifically on plans for the expansion of Nigeria’s export frontiers, Dr Isegbe said in addition to the traditional agro-export items, NAQS has identified underutilized but high premium emerging agro-commodities such as sesame, soya bean, cinnamon, pigeon pea, sugar cane, honey and snail that will revolutionize Nigeria’s non-oil export business.
The NAQS boss further said that the agency has gone further to map states with the capacity to produce high export value agro-export commodities on industrial scale, stressing that NAQS is in touch with the respective State Ministries of Agriculture and Local Government Councils to leverage output from those areas.
He posited that the exploitation of Nigeria’s comparative advantage in many agricultural commodities will proliferate opportunities for wealth creation, adding that if the country produces as much as she can produce and exports as much as her natural endowment allows, “we will create thousands of jobs, improve livelihoods of families and place the foreign revenue from the agriculture sector on the upward trajectory”.
He averred that with a fair climate, vast arable land and the largest population in Africa, Nigeria has elements enough to make the country an agricultural superpower.
Hear Dr Isegbe: “We were on the path to becoming one of the great food baskets of the world when the siren voice of crude oil diverted our attention. Today, one of the staple counterfactuals of national discourse is what we might have grown to be as a country and a people if we had kept faith with agriculture”.