SHAUKAT Malik, Chief Technical Adviser, National Quality Infrastructure Project, Nigeria, of the United Nation Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), said a committee has been established to improve the quality of agricultural produce in Nigeria.
Malik said this in Abuja on Wednesday during the establishment of a Global Good Agricultural Practice (GLOBALG.A.P) National Technical Working Group (NTWG) for Nigeria.
He said the group would develop the action plan for the implementation of good agricultural produce.
“GLOBAL G.A.P is a farm assurance programme that translates consumer requirements into good agricultural practice.
“It is safe methods requirements in line with good agricultural practice under the framework of the National Quality Infrastructure Project for Nigeria,’’ he said.
He explained that the aim of GLOBALG.A.P. is to bring conformity to different retailers’ supplier standards, which has been creating problems for farmers.
“It is now the world’s most widely implemented farm certification scheme. Most European customers for agricultural products now demand evidence of EurepGAP certification as a prerequisite for doing business,” said Malik.
Dr Friedrich Ludeke, GLOBAL G.A.P, Senior Expert on Training, said the aim of the group was to harmonise certification activities.
Ludeke said the activities of the group would be to translate the official GLOBAL G.A.P. documents into languages used in the country.
He said agriculture was at the heart of Nigerian economy and that foods like vegetable must be certified before exportation.
Ludeke said good agricultural practice would not only address export products but also the food consumed locally.
Mrs Iyalode Lawson, the National President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), said quality infrastructure must first be implemented through stakeholders to the grassroots.
Lawson said good agricultural practice must be allowed to flow down to the farmers because they are in the value chain.
“We must ensure quality in whatever we do to help the country compete in the international market.
“The GLOBAL G.A.P. will help the country meet the international standard and improve on what we consume locally,’’ she said.
Lawson said the project would enhance the country’s competiveness in agricultural produce.
Mr Olusegun Awobiyi, Deputy Director, Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the agency had carried out a lot of activities to ensure that food products were certified.
Awobiyi said a lot was being done to address pets control on agricultural products right from the farm.
“We monitor the processing of agricultural produce from the beginning to ensure quality because to the achieve quality of agricultural produce we must involve the farmers to understand good practice,’’ he said. (NAN)
– May 16, 2018 @ 19:12 GMT |