The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has sensitised farmers in Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), on proper means of crop preservation to meet global standard and boost crop export.
The one-day workshop for farmers in Bwari town was tagged: Sensitisation workshop toward Zero Reject of Agricultural Produce Export from Nigeria through the Use of Modern Equipment”.
Olusegun Awolowo, the Executive Director of NEPC, represented by Nanaakan Saave, a director in the council, said that the orientation was to curb incessant rejection of Nigeria’s agricultural commodity exports through good practices.
The council has held similar workshops in 18 states since 2016, and its importance is ensuring qualitative export of Nigeria’s agricultural produce.
Nigeria has the highest number of alert notifications within and outside the sub-region, an indication that potentially, it stands the highest risk of its products being rejected in the international market place.
Our focus since 2017 has been on FCT sensitisation, and has sufficiently sensitised relevant stakeholders in the agriculture sector in Gwagwalada and Kwali specifically on modern techniques of drying agricultural produce for export.
He said that FCT area councils were blessed with myriad of agricultural products, and in commercial quantities such as yam, cassava, groundnut, maize, cashew, sorghum, garden and tomato.
Awolowo said that if the councils were able to get it right, there would be positive impact on the overall non-oil export performance of the country as product quality had assumed top agenda in international trade discourse.
Earlier, Samson Idowu, an Assistant Director in NEPC said that the event was part of the council’s effort at developing non-oil export in FCT and the country at large by teaching proper drying and preservation methods for export.
He said that NEPC engaged stakeholders from time to time to discuss salient global and local issues that could impact on the non-oil export sector.
Idowu said that the export business was a dynamic business that required swift and timely interventions.
Except stakeholders come together to identify threatening trending issues, non-oil export as agriculture may not grow as intended.”
The Chairman, Bwari Area Council, Mr Musa Dikko, while declaring the workshop open, encouraged the participants to maximise the opportunity to strengthen their little knowledge on food preservation.
According to him, some traditional methods that force crops to ripen have become outdated, and are some of the reasons behind Nigerian crops being rejected at both the local and international markets because of their unnatural taste
Source: Voice of Nigeria