FG moves to return groundnut value chain to international market
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has said strategic plan is being deployed to upturn the rejection of Nigerian groundnut value chain in the international market.
The country’s groundnut was among five cash crops rejected on the export market into European countries because of the high level of aflatoxin contamination, a dangerous life threatening infection.
Although, Nigeria is the third largest producer of groundnut crop in the world, next to China and India, with volume of three million metric tonnes annually, the contribution of the cash crop to the nation’s foreign reserve had drastic declined following the ban of the crop in the foreign market.
The Assistant Director, who also doubles as the desk officer for groundnut value chain at the ministry, Hajia Zainab Adamu Fika, explained policy plan to address the challenges bedeviling the subsect.
Fika spoke at the opening of capacity building programme for 60 groundnut farmers drawn across North West held in Kano. The desk officer noted that government was determined to adopt new agronomy practice in groundnut production with necessary biosafety facilities to curb the menace of aflatoxin attack.
Besides, the modern training dynamics, she explained that government would disburse free Aflasafe chemical (insecticide), organic fertilizers and improved variety adaptable to ecology system (SammT 24) to boost yield.
“The training is very important at this point in time when Nigeria’s groundnut is suffering outright rejection from the foreign market. We are presently working with groundnut farmers across the country to build their capacity on new agronomical planting that will curb the threat.
“Besides government has noticed fast declining in the harvest of groundnut crop due to climate change. We are also involving collaboration of international agency to address the challenges and provide solution. We are presently training 60 and the expectation is, this set will train other in their communities.” Fika noted.
Vice President of National Groundnut Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria, Abdulrazaq Usman applauded the initiative which he said was a worthwhile venture.
Abdulrazaq, however, appealed on the Federal Government to groundnut value chain among the CBN adopted items for intervention to grow capacity of farmers.
He equally wanted government to release the new small cottage groundnut oil mill to the association for effective management.
Abdulrazaq, who argued that Nigeria can earn significant revenue in groundnut oil if accorded priority attention, revealed that local consumption hit 2.250 million litre equivalent to 14.152 per barrel per day.