AviaCargo Committee Identifies Farmers Non Compliance To international, Domestic Standards, Lack Of Certification, Others Bane Of Agro Exports
Pix caption : Coordinator ,Aviation Cargo Road Map Committee, Mr .Ikechi Uko
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria(FAAN) Aviation Cargo Road Map Committee, coordinated by Mr. Ikechi Uko has attributed the non-compliance of farmers to internationally and domestically accepted standards, lack of certification and access to international markets as some of the challenges facing agricultural exports in Nigeria.
The Uko led committee identified these challenges while presenting a paper at the 2nd edition of the FAAN National Aviation Conference in Abuja with the theme, ‘Repositioning Cargo Operations Through Development of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Nigeria’
These challenges were listed in a report submitted by the Committee to FAAN titled, “Repositioning Cargo Operations Through Development of Agricultural and Natural Resources in Nigeria.”
According to the Committee’s report other factors militating against agricultural export in the country are : inability to trace (Traceability),lack of knowledge on global requirements, bureaucratic bottlenecks in government agencies and high cost.
Other challenges enumerated by the committee : inability to preserve and package products to global standard, poor Logistics , insecurity, weakness of supervision, poor airport infrastructure , absence of government support, mindset/attitudes, lack of skilled manpower, multiple taxes and charges ¢ and funding.
The committee in its conclusion acknowledged that Nigeria is already a leader in most agricultural products and that for it to continue to maintain its ranking in the world, it should target improvement in agricultural practices, invest in solving the huge logistic problems of agricultural products, enhance certification of farms and operators in the value chain.
Other things Nigeria must do to continue to be highly ranked is that the country must insist on traceability of all exportable produce, tackle the mayhem at the export cargo terminals, upgrade packaging of all exports, incentivise the production of high value export crops, mitigate identified procedural and regulatory obstacles.
Uko informed that Nigeria, as the largest producer of many Agro-products, loses $1 billion annually to non-certification of Agri-produce for export.
He hinted that Airport Council International (ACI) 2021 statistics,revealed that Nigeria as the largest producer of many Agro products, ranks 5th on the African AviaCargo Export Chart after Kenya, Egypt, South Africa, Ethiopia in cargo volume.
On the World ranking of Nigerian agricultural commodities based on the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) ranking, the Coordinator pointed out that Nigeria ranks number one in terms of production in Yam, Cassava, Shea Butter, Melon Seed, Kola Nut, Coco yam and Sorghum.
Uko said that Nigeria ranks between 2 to 19 in commodities such as cashew nuts, palm kernel, ginger, chilies and pepper, pineapple, maize, groundnuts, plantain sesame seeds, rubber and others
In yam production in Africa , the Aviacargo Coordinator said that Nigeria is number one as it produces 50.1 million metric tons , followed by Ghana – 8.5 million, Benin – 3.2 million, Togo – 867,700 and Cameroon – 707,000.
He also revealed that the 2022 ranking in Africa,, the top 10 largest producers of carrots and turnips in the continent , Nigeria is 3rd, plantain 5th and Cow peas 1st with 3.6 million followed by Niger with 2.6 million tonnes., adding that Nigeria and Niger account for almost 70 per cent of the total world production.
On the destination of Nigeria’s non-oil products, Uko said that in 2022 “USA was the major destination for Nigeria followed by Spain, India, Italy, France and Netherlands”.
The Nigerian government, he said has put plans in place to grow cashew export from $252 million to $500 million for 2023, adding that States and Federal agencies should start mitigation of the identified challenges and obstacles.