‘Hibiscus exporters ‘technically’ out of business’
Ban on Nigeria-made hibiscus flowers has left many exporters ‘technically’ out of business, as the ban of the product by the Mexican government is yet to be lifted.
This has caused job loss in the agriculture value chain, even as many farmers depend on cultivation of product for survival.The President of the Association of Hibiscus Flower Exporters of Nigeria (AHFEN), Mr Tunji Lawal, said to get the ban lifted, Mexico has stipulated standards.
Lawal, who also commended the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) for making efforts to lift the ban, said the process would still take some months before Nigeria would be certified to begin export of the product.
“It is almost done but not done yet. We hope that it should be lifted, but as it is now, it will take some time. “For the trial shipment, we have to give a 30-day notice. They will receive it to check if it is okay before the ban can be lifted. The shipment will also take like two months. From these indications, the trial shipment would not be lifted anytime soon,” he said
He added that while these are in place, Mexico would require Nigeria to send some trial shipments to them to certify. After that, they would probably unban it. This might take up to April or May 2019 to get it resolved.
The Coordinating Director of NAQS, Dr. Vincent Isegbe, had said that Nigeria would soon resume the export of the flower. He noted that the issue was resolved in collaboration with stakeholders across the value chain.
“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to earn foreign exchange for the country and support the present administration’s diversification of the economy,” he had said.
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