Most of the agri-products exported from the country like yam, mangoes, shrimp, garlic, ginger, etc, don’t make it to the larger international markets as they do not meet the required safety and health standards.
Nigeria has failed to benefit from multibillion-dollar earnings from the agricultural industry despite having more farm produce to export than other neighbouring countries and these include ginger, palm kernel, palm oil, cocoa butter, sesame seed, honey, shrimps, garlic and others.
A stakeholder in the industry, Kingsley Nwokoma who spoke to THISDAY stated that currently, Nigeria is losing huge income which is projected to be over $1 billion per annum due to non-certification of its farm produce.
However, agricultural products from some other African countries like Ghana, Cameroon, and Mali have met the required standards to be certified fit for consumption internationally.
In 2021, Ghana generated about GH¢50 billion, about $4.2 billion from sales of farm produce like plantain, mangoes, yam,
Some of the required certifications include the Good Agricultural Products (GAP) certification of the European Union, the UK and some US states, the Sanitary Certification and Good Agricultural Sector Certification of many EU countries and other Western markets.
In 2021, the director-general of NAFDAC, Mojisola Adeyeye complained that over 76% of agricultural exports from Nigeria are rejected when exported abroad.
Adeyeye also blamed the exporters for boycotting regulatory procedures as she revealed that most of the food products rejected abroad failed to pass through the recommended scrutiny of both NAFDAC and the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services (NAQS).
“So the people that are exporting are either taking shortcuts or they’re being deceived that their products are okay, just ship it, we will take care of it,”
“…About 76 per cent of our products are rejected by the EU and it is NAFDAC that is informed using the rapid alert systems that these products have been rejected,” she said.
This rejection of Nigerian-sourced farm produce has backfired on production as farmers have to step down production because finished products meant for export do not make it to the shelves and superstores in the UK and other parts of Europe.