UK Rejects Vegetables, other Food Items from Nigeria

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From Babatunde Azeez, Abuja

A large consignment of vegetables and other food items exported on route  United Kingdom from Nigeria were returned over the weekend due to failure to meet up with international procedures.

The rejection is happening 10 months after some shipment of yam exported to the United States, were also rejected due to poor quality.The produce, estimated to be about N5m include: pumpkin leaf, waterleaf, bitter leaf, local pear, garden eggs, wrapping leaf and others.

The Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) disclosed this at a press briefing, while explaining that the produce were rejected on the ground that they were not accompanied with phytosanitary certificate and not due to poor quality.

NAQS Head of Inspection, South West Zone, Dr. Moses Adewumi, noted that internationally, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) stipulates that in the movement of agricultural produce or commodities around the world, the commodities should be pest free.

According to Adewunmi: “In this case, we have up to about 41 International Standard For Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM), which guides the movement of commodities.

“When you are sending commodities outside the country, the international procedure is that it must be accompanied with phytosanitary certificate, that is the health of the commodity being exported. Any commodity not accompanied by the certificate is illegal.

“That is why all these consignments were returned to the country because most of them were not accompanied with phytosanitary certificate.” he added.

Adewunmi noted that the NAQS was trying to make exporters and people coming to the business to be aware that they needed to get the certificate when sending agric commodities outside Nigeria. Source: TodayNG.

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