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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Nigeria deserves quality agro outputs for consumption: minister       

LAGOS, (Xinhua) -- Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Audu Ogbeh said on Wednesday that the country deserve good, safe and quality agro outputs for consumption.

As a follow up to this, the minister said in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital that the government will soon embark on a nationwide advocacy tour of the six geo-political zones on agricultural quality control and standardization.

The advocacy was necessary in order to address issues leading to the ban imposed by the European Union (EU) of the country’s agricultural produce in the international market, Ogbeh said.

The minister told reporters that the quality control of Nigeria’s commodities starts from the field operations, including land clearing, soil testing, seed selection, varietal selection, chemical application, Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and post-harvest operations.

“There is no time than now to mainstream food safety into agricultural production if we want to really diversify our economy, using agriculture as a veritable tool and also have our share of the export,” he added.

According to him, the nationwide advocacy on quality control and standardization of agricultural commodities is targeting primary farmers and other stakeholders along the food value chain.

“We need to inculcate the culture of agro quality among key policy makers, in both public and private institutions, propelling them to recognize the essential role of food safety in production to the sale point of our commodity,” he said.

“The ban on our dry beans by EU (European Union) draws our attention that we have actually been consuming poison unknowingly, which has resulted to an increase on non-communicable disease,” Ogbeh added.

Nigeria has officially kick-started the export of Nigerian yam to different parts of the world in fulfillment of the promise of Buhari’s administration to diversify the economy.

The Nigeria Yam Export (NYE) was launched at Lillypond Container Terminal, Ijora, Lagos on June 29, by the minister.

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