To enhance Nigeria’s chances to participate in the international food trade, all stakeholders must ensure that the nation’s agricultural products comply with global set standards of food production and export.
Responding to the need to reduce Nigeria’s losses in agricultural exports due to lack of standards, an agricultural firm, NICERT Limited, in a statement in Abuja yesterday said, to reduce the nearly $20bn losses in agricultural exports, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture must be encouraged to take up the primary responsibility of setting standards that will enhance growth in the Nigerian agricultural economy.
It said the implementation of international food standards will increase Nigeria’s participation in international trade.
Managing director of NICERT Ltd, Mrs Annabel Kamuche in the statement said, NICERT in partnership with ECOCERT is willing to assist growers, processors and buyers to implement international commercial and legal standards that will enable certification of those products and their access to target markets.
She said, “International markets set standards to protect consumers and to enforce integrity of products. Any entity conducting business for which a standard exists may ask to have its products or services certified by a certification body.”
Kamuche lamented that Nigeria is highly short changed in sales of Ginger in the international market as in 2017, a tonne of ginger generated between $6,000 and $7,000. In Nigeria however, a tonne stood at $3,500, saying Nigerian ginger is yet to enter the lucrative international market.
“The ginger association will benefit more from organic certification, because in the lucrative international market, there is a huge and growing demand for ginger certified for conformity with global G.A.P. organic production standards,” Kamuche said.
She maintained that organic certification has the potential to contribute to increased sustainability of collection as well as offering many producers new marketing opportunities and higher prices. Noting that NICERT-ECOCERT as a 3rd party certification body will provide training for sustainable production in conformity with applicable international standards such as Global G.A.P. and organic, and oversee implementation by growers and producers.
The firm also provided certification for other standards like UT, Fair Trade, Cosmos, IFS among others.
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