A group known as Croplife Nigeria has sounded a warning that the federal government’s aspiration to achieve food security in line with Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) may be jeopardized following escalating roadblocks erected by government agencies at the country’s entry points.
According to the group, this development has affected effective supply and distribution of biopesticides to support food production.
Speaking on the looming threat, president of Croplife Nigeria, Mahmood Tauhid while addressing the media in Lagos, said government agencies operating at the seaports posed serious challenges to efforts of importing approved pesticides to help farmers boost harvests.
Tauhid said previously the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) was regulating the agrochemical subsector of the industry but in the last two year more agencies like the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON and others have joined the league of those creating unnecessary bottlenecks to importation of the products, thus creating scarcity and encouraging adulteration.
The president observed that over the past three decades, Nigerian government had initiated a plethora of policies and programmes which were aimed at restoring agricultural sector to its pride of place in the economy.
However various efforts at promoting investment and export diversification in the agricultural sector have not yielded appreciable dividend, and that enormous investment and export diversification potentials for generating higher growth in the economy have remained unlocked and unexploited in the agriculture due to a host of constraining factors that must be removed.
Tauhid said the association is not against regulation but government should endeavor to remove the identified bottlenecks so as to fast track the attainment of poverty reduction and rapid economic development in the country.