In an effort to curtail rejection of Nigeria agricultural produce at the international market, the Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NABG) is working with other stakeholders to formulate policy that will align the country to global benchmark in the export of produce.
The Director-General, NABG, Dr Manzo Maigari, yesterday, in Abuja, during a stakeholders Consultative Workshop’ on ‘Developing a national agricultural commodity standard grading System and a national policy to support commodity grading system’, said for Nigeria to be competitive in agriculture globally, it must comply and align to global benchmarks for standards and grading.
He attributed the rejection of agricultural commodities from Nigeria in the international market to absence of expected and acceptable standards, saying NABG is addressing the issue through the formulation and implementation of policies and standards so that Nigeria can become a major player in international agribusiness.
Maigari said: “In modern business and trade today, people want to be sure about certain quality, sanitation, the hygiene of what you are selling, and if they cannot be sure, then you cannot have access to the markets and this is something that does not exist currently in Nigeria.
“Therefore, as custodians of agribusiness in Nigeria, we have taken the initiative to bring stakeholders together both in the public and private sectors so that we can craft a policy that would enable Nigeria compete favourably in Africa and across the world. You already are aware that our efforts to export have always been frustrated, you hear rejects here and there. When our products are exported, you hear that they have been rejected,” he stated.
He lamented that the country does not have a policy framework that ensures standards, quality and certification, which is a source of worry as it has negatively impacted export of agricultural commodities over the years.
The DG mentioned that agribusiness begins with quality standards saying, “if we can get the foundation right, we can compete in the global markets. We make money so far we are not competitive because there are no global certifications.
Speaking on the impact of climate change on agribusiness and climate resilience, Maigari noted that climate change is an important component of meeting quality and standards, stressing the need to sensitize smallholder farmers on traditional practices that are climate smart that would ensure they meet the right quality.
He noted that NABG is ensuring Nigeria farmers meet standards by imbibing climate smart practices.