By Timi ‘Shuwa
The chairman, House Committee on Agric Production and Services, Hon. Mohammed Tahir Monguno has stressed the importance of adhering to best practices in the export of agricultural produces while urging farmers in the country to abide by it.
Hon. Monguno stated this in Ilorin during a 3-day training program organized for the North Central geopolitical zone by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services (NAQS) in collaboration with House Committee on Agric. Production and Services.
The program which ended on Friday (March 23, 2018) has its theme “Training of Nigeria Farmers: Quarantine Perspective” and was held at the Intercontinental Harmony Hotel, Ilorin, Kwara state.
The chairman who was represented at the occasion by Hon. Dr. Abubakar Amuda Kanike reminded participants that, “agriculture remains one of the basic employers of labour with chains of opportunities for the teeming populace to tap from adding that they have the input suppliers like fertilizers, chemicals and seeds.
“We also have the farmers who tilled the ground, we talk about transportation, processing, marketing, export and so on. In all of these there are opportunities to be tapped and money to be made. It is high time Nigerians tapped into the many advantages accrued from agric.”
Otunba Deji Akinbayowa who stood in for Hon. Kanike therefore urged participants at the training to be receptive and focused so as to be well equipped in meeting the required standard in exportation.
In his opening remarks, the Coordinating Director, Nigeria Agriculture Quarantine Services (NAQS), Dr. Vincent Isegbe acknowledged the fact that some farmers in the country are unable to export their produce due to lack of knowledge of the expected requirements and standards.
He pointed out that since all agricultural produce in the country cannot be meant for consumption only therefore the need to export and make more money arises. He explained that farmers need to be well equipped in handling their produce for export so that their consignments will not be rejected.
Dr. Isegbe who was represented by Dr. Shakiru Kazeem reminded farmers that they cannot be handling their farm produce the way they have been doing before and expect it to be accepted outside the shore of the country.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman and Group Managing Director of Degolex Merchants Ltd. Dr. Omoleye Olabode represented by Mr. Lanre Babalola had assured participants that quarantine specialists were on ground to teach them the nitty-gritty of exporting their produce, urging them to be attentive and ask probing questions wherever necessary.