Home » Africa: The Need to Standardize our food exports for global acceptability as 70% of Nigerian Food Exports Rejected Abroad Due to Poor Standards, NAFDAC DG Reveals

Africa: The Need to Standardize our food exports for global acceptability as 70% of Nigerian Food Exports Rejected Abroad Due to Poor Standards, NAFDAC DG Reveals

by Atqnews
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food exports

Regrettably, Nigeria continues to grapple with persistent challenges that hinder the successful export of its agricultural products, particularly foodstuffs, to global markets.

Despite the passage of time, these issues remain unresolved, casting a shadow over the country’s efforts to effectively showcase its abundant farm produce on the international stage.

According to vanguardngr.com, Back in 2017, then Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Audu Ogbeh, raised the alarm that Nigerian yams were not allowed into the United States market due mainly to poor standards. He promised to find a solution to the problem. There is little evidence that much was done thereafter.

READ: Africa: Federal Institute of Industrial Research FIIRO Set to Boost Nigerian Local Beverage Exports, Elevating Zobo and Kunu to Globally Certified Beverages

Indeed, only last week, Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, Dr. Moji Adeyeye, also lamented that up to 70 per cent of Nigerian foodstuff exported to the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries, are rejected due to poor standards.

For how long will officials given the responsibility to solve problems be raising the alarm instead? Adeyeye was given a second term in office. Why has NAFDAC failed to fix this problem? Where is the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON, which once engaged NAFDAC in a supremacy battle over the anti-fake drugs war during the late Professor Dora Akunyili’s time as NAFDAC D-G?

Where are the other federal agencies charged with ensuring that Nigerian foodstuffs meet international standards for export? What about the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Services, NAQS, which has this function as its core mandate?

Nigeria is not in short supply of government departments charged with the responsibility to solve specific problems. The main problem is that there are so many agencies with overlapping functions and which refuse to work together because of corruption and turf wars. Yet, they are provided for in the annual budgets for doing nothing. The time has come for this confusion to end.

The President Bola Tinubu administration is best placed to tackle this problem from the roots. With at least four years ahead of it, we call on it to take lasting steps to ensure that Nigerian food exports meet international standards. If it means collapsing all the agencies into one department to ensure an effective and efficient standardisation of our food exports, then let it be done, pronto.

The Nigerian community in the diaspora is getting bigger every day, and they need Nigerian foods which are healthier and more nutritious than industrial foods. Also, Nigerian music, movies, fashion and cuisine are enjoying acceptability in Europe, America, Asia and even on the continent.

It is a rare opportunity to expand the foreign exchange base of our economy, create jobs and enrich our farmers and other “agri-preneurs”. The Federal Government should liaise with their state counterparts and make Nigerian-grown foods acceptable abroad through proper handling. It is unfortunate that after over 20 years of duty-free access granted Nigerian-grown foods by the US government, the opportunity remains largely untapped.

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