Standards Organisation of Nigeria has emphasised the need for the stakeholders in agricultural produce sector in the country to maintain quality and standard on their products meant for export.
Speaking at a North Central regional stakeholders workshop with the theme, ‘Sensitisation on agricultural produce for export,’ in Ilorin on Tuesday, the director- general and chief executive of the SON, Osita Aboloma, noted that transportation, storage facility, packaging and warehouse condition posed challenges that made export produce from Nigeria to be rejected by foreign countries.
The SON boss, represented at the workshop by the North Central regional coordinator of the agency, Charles Nwagbara, also emphasised the need for standard storage and packaging for agricultural produce meant for export ,arguing that the quality must remain intact, as they were being exported abroad.
He said, “Standard is part of the security apparatus for the country. You use it to control and defend your populace from danger, risks and products coming into your country. One per cent leakage can cause a chain of negative effects on the consumers and entire populace.
“That’s why some countries reject our products, especially when their regulations find the products faulty due to handling and transportation.
“If you have a quality product in Kwara State, before you move it for export using sea or air transportation, storage facility, warehouse or lack of knowledge on recommended pesticide or herbicide and its limit, or duration to use them, can make those products get rejected. And every country has that first principle or policy to protect its citizens. There’s no compromise about that.
“It is not in Nigeria here that products do not meet standard, but the distance from here, for example, to Europe using cargo, not to talk of ship, could affect quality and standard of agric products.”
Also speaking, the director of TNP, a consultant outfit for the programme, Mr Toyese Oyekunle, said that the workshop was organised to impart knowledge to farmers in order to make Nigerian products meet international standard and regulatory requirement.