USDA Explains Why Nigeria’s Agricultural Produce Is Being Rejected In America
The United States Department for Agriculture (USDA) has described the cause of rejection of Nigeria agricultural produce is on the lack of food safety documentation.
This was disclosed by the Councilor for Agriculture Affairs, USDA, Christopher Bielecki, yesterday in Abuja at a Food and Feed Safety Expertise Coordination workshop organised by the Nigeria Economic Summit Group in partnership with Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the Food and Agriculture Export Alliance (FAEA) and the University of Missouri (MU).
According to him, “I have spoken to producers, who are challenged with the difficulty of exporting Nigerian agricultural produce to the world including the U.S.; they have reported a high rate of rejection and this rejection mostly as a result of lack of documentation on food safety.”
Bielecki further explained that improving food safety will not only help reduce rejections, stimulate trade, but also help Nigeria improve food and agricultural trade, increase GDP and increase foreign reserves.
The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Ali Pate, noted that in a deliberate effort to ensure country attain National health security status, the ministry is determined to validate the revised National Policy on Food Safety and Quality, as well as launch the first National Integrated Guidelines for Food borne Disease Surveillance and Response.
He noted that the revised policy will look at new and emerging areas that will improve the regulatory, enforcement and data-gathering system as well as set the roadmap for the integrated surveillance of foodborne diseases and establish the protocols for the response to food safety emergencies in the country.
NESG Chief Executive Officer (designate), Dr. Tayo Aduloju, has disclosed that Nigeria’s commitment to upholding the highest food safety standards is paramount to the well-being and progress of the country, noting that by collaborating and pooling collective expertise, regulatory frameworks can be strengthened to enhance the overall quality of food and feed in the country.
Also, Aduloju explained that for Nigeria’s agricultural sector to grow, there was need for effective regulatory, institutional and policy frameworks that tackle the gaps in food and feed safety to not only improve the well-being of citizens but also impact the country’s position in international trade, saying to benefit effectively from the AFCTA, reforming food and feed safety systems in Nigeria is inevitable.