NAQS hails renewed haulage of tomatoes by rail


ENUGU-‎ THE Coordinating Director of the Nigeria Agricultural QuarantineService, NAQS, Dr. Vincent Isegbe, has commended the recommenced rail
transportation of tomatoes from Kano to Lagos, 58 years after interruption in such service.

Isegbe said the development would create jobs, stabilize the prices of agricultural produce, add to the nation’s earnings, and increase productivity.

Isegbe said: “The tomatoes conveyed to Lagos via rail were packaged in plasticbaskets. The baskets were kept on top of each other without the weight resting on them, and the baskets were not filled up. If the train is refrigerated at least 4-10 degrees centigrade at the point of export, the quality of the products will remain intact.”

He called for collaboration among stake holders for efficient movement of agricultural produce to avoid wastes.

“The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development emphasizes
the development of value chains from production, storage, processing,
packaging, transportation to consumption.

"NAQS advocates efficient
transportation of products. Perishable items need speed, proper storage, packaging and detailed labeling, indicating the parameters.

“We are at the advocacy level. If there is an allegation of any violation of road regulations, the commodity should be allowed to get to its destination by the police, FRSC, VIO and then the vehicle is returned to face the
alleged charges.

"If the movement is delayed, it might amount to double
tragedy. It is frustrating if products do not meet the export criteria because of damages experienced along the value chain. Quarantine
monitors productions from the nursery, agro-pesticide application, harvest, transportation and the export inspection and certification to

ensure standards,”‎ said Isegbo.

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