NEPC, UNIDO move to curb rejection of exported dried beans
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has partnered the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) to end the high level of rejection of Nigerian produce in the global market.
The Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, NEPC, Olusegun Awolowo, explained that the partnership had become imperative to address European Union’s suspension on the export of Nigerian dried beans due to high level of pesticide residue which he said was far above the Maximum Residual Level (MRL).
Awolowo at the sensitisation workshop on implementation of the Export Control Plan on Dried Beans Export, said the move was part of additional effort by the council to reduce the incidence of rejection of agricultural exports to European Union and parts of the world.
According to him, Nigeria’s agricultural produce exports have been encountering challenges of reject in the international markets primarily due to non-adherence to sanitary and phytosanitary measures; non-compliance to administrative procedures, non-compliance to documentation; technical barrier issues such as poor packaging, labelling, insufficient information on nutritional content and prevalence of informal exports.
He noted that the council had taken proactive steps to address and stem the rising tide of rejection of Nigerian agricultural produce, by setting up a 21-member Inter-Agency Committee on non-oil exports in 2016.He stated that UNIDO under the National Quality Infrastructure Project (NQIP) had so far been partnering the council on series of activities to address the ban.
Stating some of the initiatives, the NEPC boss said include the development of the concept of Conduits of Excellence (CoE), the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Integrated Export Control Plan for dried and processed beans products.He said these programmes are expected to improve the quality, safety, integrity, standards and marketability of Nigerian agricultural commodities for regional and international markets.
In his words, ‘‘This sensitisation workshop for beans value chain operators is to address outstanding issues relating to EU requirement for lifting the beans ban and also to enlighten the participants on the formal process for exporting dried and processed beans as well as the adherence to the implementation of the EU food safety requirements and serves as a preparatory avenue for the trial shipment of dried beans to the EU from Nigeria.’’
Earlier, a Quality and Business Excellence Expert with UNIDO, Simeon Umukoro, said both organisations have working relentlessly in lifting the ban on the nation’s dry beans since 2016, stressing that the partnership has also developed an Integrated Export document which he said is at its third tier to certify Nigerian farms.‘‘Once all these efforts are in place, we believe the dry beans ban will be raised to help expand the export threshold of Nigeria,’’ he added.