The failure of Nigerian exporters to obtain phytosanitary certificates for their agricultural produce has caused a setback.
The United Kingdom authorities have rejected a consignment of agricultural produce from Nigeria worth N5 million for failing to meet up with the expected requirements.
Head of Inspection at the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) in the South West Zone, Dr Moses Adewumi, made this disclosure at a news conference.
He disclosed that the consignment contained bitter leaf, wrapping leaf, pumpkin leaf, waterleaf, native pear, backyard eggs, amongst others.
Mr Adewumi, however, emphasised that the goods were rejected because they did not have phytosanitary certificates.
Business Post reports that a phytosanitary certificate is an official document issued to indicate that consignments of plants, plant products or other regulated articles meet specified phytosanitary import requirements and are in conformity with the certifying statement of the appropriate model certificate.
Mr Adewumi informed reporters at the briefing that the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) requires that within the movement of agricultural produce or commodities around the globe, the commodities must be free from pest.
According to him, “On this case, now we have as much as about 41 Worldwide Standard For Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM), which guides the transfer of commodities.
“When you find yourself sending commodities beyond the shores of the country, the worldwide process is that it should be accompanied with a phytosanitary certificate, that’s the well-being of the commodity being exported.”
He said, “Any commodity not accompanied by the certificates is against the law,” explaining that, “That’s the reason all these consignments have been returned to the nation (Nigeria) due to the fact that most of them weren’t accompanied with phytosanitary certificates.”
But Mr Adewumi said NAQS was making efforts to ensure exporters and non-exporters know about these requirements to prevent such from happening in the future.
Recall that last year, some consignments of yam exported from Nigeria to the USA at a ceremony in Lagos attended by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Audu Ogbeh, were rejected on account of poor quality.