Quarantine service begins issuance of certificates to prevent rejection of agric produce
The Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), said it has commenced issuance of sanitary certificates to exporters of Nigeria’s agricultural produce to avoid rejection at the international markets.
The Coordinating Director of the service, Dr Vincent Isegbe, made this known in Abuja on Thursday while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Isegbe, who described the constant rejection of Nigeria’s agricultural produce at the international markets as an embarrassment, said it was the handiwork of exporters who failed to comply with laid down rules.
He said the certificate was an important document by international regulation that would guarantee the acceptance of any exported agricultural products.
According to him, you need to have this certificate of a clean bill of health to be able to ship your commodity from one country to another.
“People do come to us to have their farm produce certified before export but a lot more people do not want to come to us and think they can ship without us.
“Those group of people run into problem at the international markets and they put the Nigeria’s integrity on the line.
“We want every agricultural farmer, producer, harvester, exporter, processor, packaging and warehousing agent to talk to come to us if they want to export any agricultural produce.
“Our business is to ensure that diseases are not exported to other countries and that they do not bring pests and diseases into Nigeria to facilitate international trade.
“We also ensure that what is produced in Nigeria gets outside the country without any problem,’’ Isegbe said.
The coordinator said that the zero reject inter-ministerial committee set up by the Federal Government to address rejection of agricultural export commodities was also working with various stakeholders to reduce the menace.
He noted that the European Union suspension on the exportation of beans from Nigeria would elapse by 2019, adding that the committee and the service were working to ensure that the problem does not recur.
Isegbe said that the Federal Government had proposed a one stop surveillance centre where all government stakeholders would be present to inspect all agricultural products before their exportation through the sea ports.