Animal feed safety critical to optimal human health, says NAFDAC
A Director, Veterinary and Allied Products, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Uche Sonny-Afoekelu, has stressed the need to take animal feeds seriously.
Speaking during a visit of the officials of NAFDAC to Agro Merits Limited facilities in Lagos recently, she observed that feed safety is critical to food safety because humans end up consuming birds and animals.
“Our mission is not really an inspection but a courtesy visit and we are here to see the warehouse. When you talk about the quality of a product, it’s a process and part of the process is storage of materials that make the final product.
“Agro merits comply with standards that make the products fit for use; so this is the confidence we have because whoever complies with existing regulations and guidelines will end up masking products that are fit for use,” he said.
Similarly, Head, Animal Feed and Premix Division, Veterinary Medicine and Allied Products, NAFDAC, Dr. Tunde Sigbeku, also said food safety starts from the farm, adding: “Whatever you give to animal comes to man.”
Managing Director of Agro Merits Limited, Sampson Odipe, urged government to formulate policies that would revamp the economy and enable agro sector players have direct access to the Ministry of Agriculture.
“We are known in Nigeria as one of the major players in the agro sector. We need direct access to the Ministry of Agriculture. If we have challenges, we should be able to meet them without lobbying to be able to go to the Ministry of Agriculture and tell them what is happening and ask them to help us.
That is what they do overseas. You can walk into the Ministry of Agriculture and they will ask how they can help you. Those things are not available here. It will be very helpful if the government and institutions directly working with the government could be in total control of the ports. That is the gateway. If that one is solved I’m telling you that this issue of agro-related problems will be mitigated.”
Speaking further, he added: “Sourcing foreign exchange (FX) has been a challenge to us to do business in Nigeria and even the cost at which you get it is really affecting the cost of doing business. We virtually have to get it three times what is supposed to be the normal working capital.”
On his part, Economy Counsellor, Embassy of Hungary, Trade Office Lagos, Mr. Gyorgy Mocsy said the country has a population of 10 million and they are trying to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NAFDAC as part of efforts aimed at connecting their country to the international markets.