In a bold stride toward economic prosperity, the Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NABG) has taken the initiative to implement the nation’s first-ever Commodity Grading Policy.
The move comes in response to the alarming trend of rejections faced by Nigerian commodities on the global stage, a concern that has sent ripples through the nation’s economic landscape.
According to leadership.ng, addressing participants at a two-day Northern Regional Validation Workshop on Nigerian Agricultural Commodity Standards Grading Policy Development, organised by NABG with the support from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Harvest Plus, the director-general of NABG, Mr. Jafar Umar, stated that gone are the days when farmers in Nigeria will continue to take agriculture as just a survival means as it is now time to take agriculture as a real business.
He explained that it is sad to understand that a lot of Nigerian produce were being rejected simply because they were not graded as such, they lacked standards and were rejected in the global market.
He added that to address the issue, there was a serious need for the development of a policy document that would ensure produce leaving Nigeria were fully graded for wider acceptability outside the country.
Earlier in his address, a food scientist, Dr Dahiru Adamu, stated that for Nigerian produce to be widely accepted, there was a need for the revival of the grading system to ensure standard attainment that will be beneficial to farmers, marketers, processors, and others.
However, the senior consultant on the project and chairman, Policy Development Committee, Mr Celestine Okanya, stated that the policy formulation was timely as it would ensure the attainment of zero rejection of Nigerian produce abroad after a successful implementation of the developed policy.
He explained that with a proper grading system, prices can be predictable as well as make farming more attractive.
Similarly, the policy, which is said to be the first private sector-driven agricultural grading policy, is currently undergoing validations across the six geopolitical zones and would be adopted for presentation in Abuja.