From: Bamidele Fashube, Abuja
The Federal Government is set to export agricultural produce such as Pigeon Pea and Sorghum to explore $100 billion market value of the sector in Asian market, the Director General of the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), Dr. Vincent Isegbe has said.
Specifically, Nigeria is targeting Indian and China for the exports while the Chinese government has also indicated interest to invest in sorghum plantation in the country.
Speaking during maiden briefing with Journalists Wednesday in Abuja, the NAQS Coordinator explained that the new development would boost export of agricultural activities and promote the nation’s farm produce.
How words: “The Chinese government is coming in with plans to establish five plantations for forage sorghum.
“That means that our sorghum exports will more than triple as from next year. A local company is expected to ship out the first batch of its consignment in the first quarter of this year.”
He charged farmers and other stakeholders to adhere to the export code of the NAQS stressing that, “their inability to meet relevant sanitary and phytosanitary requirements applicable in the destination countries is the most serious impediment to Nigeria’s participation in foreign trade.”
“We can produce and export every agricultural produce found in this country and there are markets for it. Our only challenge is to make sure it is done properly.
“Nigeria loses huge revenue, servicing narrow market export options. This is because many countries prohibit the import of produce with mycotoxin contamination, high pesticide residue, microbial contamination, and sloppy packaging and labeling.
“It is our goal to make Nigerian agricultural produce acceptable everywhere in the world. That way, we will earn more foreign exchange from more destination countries.
“We are also working expeditiously to expand our export frontiers. In addition to the traditional agro-export items, we have identified underutilized yet high premium, emerging agricultural commodities.
“The world is transitioning to a post-oil civilization. Climate change has leapfrogged to the top of national security problems all over the world. Nations are aggressively modernizing their infrastructure to run on renewable energy and reshaping their economy to be competitive in the evolving green economy.
“Nigeria cannot afford to be behind the curve. We have to reinvent agriculture as an engine of wealth creation,” he added.