Agro-Exporters Urge FG to Address Suspension of Nation’s Produce

Some stakeholders in the Agro-Commodity Export at the weekend urged the Federal Government to address the issue of ban placed on some Nigerian produce by the European Union.

Obiora Madu, Chairman, Export Group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), made the appeal when he spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.

He said this on the sidelines of a one-day interactive conference with exporters.

Madu said that it was imperative for the government to resolve the issue before the June 2016 deadline given by the EU to correct the anomaly.

“There are many export markets beyond Europe but if we do nothing, it is likely to escalate when other nations join the EU to reject our produce then we are in trouble.

“As a chamber, we are concerned about the trend and are actively at the forefront of sensitising farmers and exporters on compliance to international standard for our produce,’’ he said.

He stressed the need for collaborative efforts of all regulatory authorities and relevant stakeholders in formulating a framework to address the challenges of the nation’s agricultural produce in the international market.

Madu noted that the country’s natural resources were not utilised to the optimum for economic growth.

“Agriculture is a viable alternative that can sustain the economy considering the reality of dwindling oil revenue.

“At independence, agriculture held sway, over 90 per cent of earnings came from agriculture but presently the entire non-oil sector, including solid minerals is contributing less than 10 per cent to the GDP. The potential is there but the concentration in oil removes our attention from agriculture,’’ he said.