The Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service said on Wednesday that it has secured an order for 100 billion dollars worth of pigeon pea from India.Dr Vincent Isegbe, the Coordinating Director, Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the 1st Nigeria Food Safety and Investment Forum in Lagos.
“Last year, we did a survey analysis for the Government of India and as a result of that we now have an order for 100 billion dollars worth of pigeon pea.
“So, we have just exposed our pigeon pea to the Indian market, “he said.
According to him, this has given rise to expanded trade relationships between Nigeria and countries due to effective analysis and certification of products.
Isegbe said that the agency would continue to explore its mandate to fast track more commodities for export for foreign exchange earnings.
“There are other culinary herbs and spices here in Nigeria, it’s like we are used to it, we eat it every day, we don’t value it, but overseas, it costs a lot of money.
“So, we are trying to encourage exporters to go to those specialist areas to export, but then there are processes and standards they need to follow.
“We must observe all rules to ensure that our commodities are certified before entering the foreign market,” Isegbe said.
On the beans that were rejected by the European Union, Isiegbe said they were illegally exported out of the country, because the Quarantine Service did not certify them.
He told NAN that the rejected beans that caused the nation great embarrassment did not pass through the agency’s certification.
The coordinating director said that “EU have their standard, so, to bring anything there, you must meet their standards.”
He stressed the need for proper co-ordination between government security and service agencies to enhance growth and development of the economy.
Isegbe called for the review of the agricultural export laws to ensure safety, enhance export and the mandate of the quarantine service.
The coordinating director said that the organisation was doing everything within its mandate to ensure that various value chains did not affect certification.
“For export, a lot of people are involved and we still move along with those people.
“It is the duty of Quarantine Service to ensure that whatever happens along the value chain, does not affect our certification,” the coordinating director said.
Isegbe told NAN that the organisation would continue to ensure best practices in its operations to promote improvement in agricultural products
He also said that funding was limiting the agency’s operations in terms of surveys, analysis and awareness creation, among others. (NAN)