How to avoid rejection of Nigeria’s products in Europe – Association
The Association of Nigerian Exporters has advised Nigerians to adhere to export specifications to avoid rejection of the country’s products.
Mr Joseph Idiong, Director-General of the association, gave the advice in an interview in Abuja on Sunday. “In export business, the exporter must produce or harness exportable products as per the specification of the buyer or the market like European or U.S. “If the exporter does according to the specification, the products cannot be rejected. “If the exporter just mobilises products from open market and exports, taking anything for granted, the person or country will pay the price of rejection and cost of repatriating the rejected products,’’ Idiong said.
According to him, for the agric sector, export farming is different from food subsidy farming. He explained that for export farming, the person would start with soil testing, to ensure that soil acidity and quality meet the export market specification. “Inputs like fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides are as per specification. “Packaging must meet international market standards and transportation of agric products must meet best practice standard like containerising the trucks or airy packages and airy trucks. Idiong said that public office holders could drive the people to produce for exports but less was done to let the people know what it could take to produce for export.
He said that Agric Ministries, Departments and Agencies were not expected to be export promoters or facilitators but promoters of best practice farming for national food subsidy. According to him, export promotion or facilitation of products falls within the mandates of Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment. “It should be like a relay race that Ministry of Agriculture should do the needful and hand over the baton to Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and export associations like exporters to close the deal,’’ Idiong said. He advised the Federal Government to train the farmers and exporters of exportable products on quality management for standards.
Nigeria, on June 29, began to export yams to Europe and the United States, as part of moves to diversify its oil dependent economy and earn much-needed foreign exchange. Not too long, U.S. rejected the yams exported from Nigeria because of poor quality. The Federal Government said it would investigate the poor quality of the consignment. Apart for yam, the country was still faced with the European Union’s three-year ban on the importation of dry beans from Nigeria. The ban prompted the Federal Government to commence an advocacy on agricultural quality control and standardisation across the six geo-political zones of the country.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Audu Ogbeh, said the country started a nationwide advocacy to stop further export sanctions and notifications on the country’s agro products from the EU. Ogbeh said that “between 2016 and 2017, about 48 notifications were received from the EU on our export goods (nuts and seeds as well as fruits and vegetables) due to aflatoxin and many other contaminants, either biological or chemical’’. He lamented that the ban on beans was extended from one year to three years when the Federal Government and the relevant agencies were working to ensure that the June 2016 deadline to lift the ban was met. Vanguard