From: Bamidele Fashube, Abuja
The Coordinating Director of the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), Dr. Vincent Isegbe, has said Nigeria earned $35 million from Hibiscus export to Mexico in nine months.
The DG also disclosed that Nigeria is ready to resume export of the plant popularly known as Zobo to Mexico.
He revealed this during a meeting with the Mexican Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Marco Antonio Garcia Blanco, when the envoy paid him a courtesy visit at the NAQS headquarters in Abuja.
“Hibiscus is a very promising cash crop. In 2017, Nigeria exported 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone, earning $35 million within a space of nine months.” Isegbe said.
He noted that the issue of Trogoderma granarium has been resolved in collaboration with stakeholders across the value chain; paving the way for Nigeria to restart trade with the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus.
It could be recalled that NAQS took proactive step to suspend hibiscus export to Mexico following the detection of the storage pest in some hibiscus consignments from Nigeria.
“In a couple of weeks, we will resume shipments to Mexico. Our farmers are eager and the fields are near ready. The harvest season of hibiscus will start any moment from now. And the good news is that Nigeria boasts a vast growing belt, with harvest lasting up to five months.’’ He added.
In a statement issued by NAQS Head of Media, Communications and Strategy, Dr. Nwodo,
Mexico and other countries use hibiscus as organic colouring agents and wines.
“Dried hibiscus also serves as a delicacy while the roselle is consumed as a vegetable.”
Ambassador Blanco applauded Dr. Isegbe for his passion for improving Nigerian trade with Mexico.
Blanco assured the agency of improving partnership between NAQS and the Mexican embassy in Nigeria, thus actively expanding import list to include cashew, sesame, soya bean, coffee and honey.