The Agriculture and Agro-Allied Group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has called for stricter issuance of phytosanitary certificates for export-bound agricultural produce.
Chairman of the group, Mr Tunji Falade, made the call in Lagos, against the backdrop of some agricultural products rejected by the European Union (EU).
The EU between 2015 and 2016 rejected some 25 produce from Nigeria, including cocoa, sesame seeds, melon seeds, dried fish and meat.
Falade canvassed intensified collaboration between export regulatory agencies, organisations, exporters and farmers.
The chairman said the rejection of these commodities by the EU should not be seen as victimisation, but an opportunity to reposition Nigeria?s export system.
?This issue has always been the trend over the years. It is not the first time it is happening.
?What we should be trying to do now is to ensure that we get this export issue right, in terms of all the standards involved.
?Right now, we have some agencies that are supposed to be involved in the regulation of this process.
?Apart from the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), we have the Nigerian Agriculture Quarantine Services.
?All of these organisations and agencies really need to collaborate with exporters, farmers, agronomists and stakeholders to ensure that before the products leave the country, all the standards are met.
?The issuing of phytosanitary certificates to export-bound agricultural produce should be very strict,?? he told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) .
Falade said the government was developing agriculture, and one of the areas to achieve this is to improve export of agricultural produce; and export of finished products as well.
He said the major challenge facing export regulations and development dwelt more on the methods of exportation, which were mainly in trickles and personal levels.
According to him, now that the Federal Government is serious about commercial exports, standards and regulations from the farm should be apt.
?We have not been doing export of agricultural products massively; we have been doing it in trickles and some people are doing it informally.
?Now that the government is serious about it, because that is about what will guarantee economic stability in the country.
?So, we really have to sit down to restrategise and ensure that these institutions collaborate with the stakeholders before shipment,?? he said.