Experts Chart Ways for Farm Products standardisation

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(Last Updated On: 2016-12-18)

Abolaji Adebayo

Agricultural experts have linked rejection of Nigerian agricultural products at international market as well as food insufficient and insecurity to non-compliance to both international and local standards.

They said the most of the agricultural products in Nigeria lacked international accepted quality standards.

Speaking at the Agricultural End-of-the-Year Forum organised by Nigeria Association of Agric Journalists, NAAJ, the Group General Manager of natnudO Foods, who doubles as the President of Poultry Association of Nigeria, PAN, Dr. Ayoola Oduntan, said there were many factors affecting the standards of many Nigerian farm products.

Oduntan, who was represented by the Group Head, Policy and Strategy, natnudO Foods, Mr. Toromade Francis, categorised the factors into both micro, which could be controlled by the producers and macro factors, which could only be controlled by the government.

He mentioned government’s policies, infrastructure, illegal importation, high cost of input materials and others as some of the macro factors that could only be controlled by the government.

Citing poultry products for example, Oduntan said the prices of maize and soya beans have more than doubled in the last one year.

Meanwhile, he said for Nigerian produced eggs for instance to be accepted at the international market, every egg to be exported nust be Grade ‘A’ as the international standards requirement. He added that the eggs must be satified by the Poultry Association of Nigeria , PAN, with all production information.

Also speaking on the role of logistics in the growth of agriculture sector, the Divisional Managing Director, Red Star Logistics, a subsidiary of Red Star Express Plc., Mr. Ocholi Etu, said if there is proper logistics, the rate at which farm produce got wasted would be drastically reduced to zero level.
“Before we get our agriculture right, we have to get our logistics right first,” he said, adding that his company, having diversified into agriculture, was building a national wide logistics capacity to cater for farm produce in all states.

Etu,who also identified lack of good storage for fam produce as bane of the sector, disclosed thjat the country has continually having food scarcity because it could not store when it had plenty due to lack of storage facilities.

He therefore called on investors to diversify to storage and logistics aspect of the business, while urging the government to provide enabling business environment for such investment to thrive.

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