The Federal Government has launched an initiative in Calabar to stem the rejection of Nigeria’s agricultural products in international markets.
The initiative tagged “Zero Reject’’ involves training and sensitisation rally for farmers and traders against indiscriminate use of agrochemicals in production, post harvest handling and storage of agricultural commodities.
Dr Muhammad Bello, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), said that the initiative was due to the rejection of Nigeria’s agricultural products in the international markets.
He said that the practice had rendered “our food unsafe and causing a variety of health hazards and economic loses to our people and country.’’
According to him, this negates the Federal Government’s plan to prioritise agriculture as one of the key sectors in diversifying the economy.
“Our agricultural produce has suffered in the last few years from rejection in the international markets due to poor adherence to standards and maintenance of required quality.
“This is why government launched the ‘Zero Reject’ initiative to help drive adherence and maintenance of good quality standards for our agricultural products/produce,‘’ he said.
Bello noted that standards had been compromised considerably in the use of agrochemicals, especially in the preservation of produce against damage by pests and spoilage.
He said that government was doing everything to reverse the trend, adding that the training was put together to broaden the knowledge and create further awareness among farmers across Nigeria.