Monday, 16 April 2018


The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has promised to make Nigerian farm produce highly competitive in the international market.

The deputy director, National Export Office (NEO) of the council, Mrs Veronica Oriere, said this in Lokoja, the Kogi state capital at a one day workshop on best practices in agricultural product drying, quality improvement and preservation for export competitiveness.

According to her, the council had been in the forefront of driving the non-oil export development and diversification of the Nigerian economy with the aim of weaning the economy from over-dependence on oil.

Oriere said: “The workshop is packaged to address the age-long attitude of Nigerian farmers sun drying as the sole means of produce preservation and guard against the quality issues associated with this practice. To lay emphasis on point drying of farm produce and prevent the introduction of aflatoxin to reduce to the barest minimum the experienced export rejects.”

The NEPC added that the move was to address post-harvest handling and also reduce the incidence of wastages occasioned by the improper preservation of farm produce.

The trade promotion advisor of the NEPC, Hassan Bala, noted that the council under the leadership of its executive director, Mr. Segun Awolowo, had been repositioned and strategically focussed to provide the needed export support services to exporters.

According to him, the council had been supporting operators in the value chain of game-changing products like cashew, cassava, shea butter, sesame seeds, yam, palm oil, solid minerals, brass, glass and aluminum works.

Bala explained that the workshop was meant to arm the people with adequate knowledge of how to benefit from the system, saying this would make them be an active and valuable player in the field. He, however, appealed to the Kogi state government to assist the council with the necessary logistics for the establishment of NEPC smart office in the state.

The Kogi state commissioner for commerce, Sunday Tolorunleke, said the state had placed emphasis on the development of small and medium scale enterprises for the growth of the state’s economy.

He said the governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, had approved N2 billion for disbursement to operators of SMEs across the state, saying the fund would not be politicised as in the case of the previous allocation.

Tolorunleke, however, encouraged farmers and traders to improve the quality of their products to enable them to meet the continental and international standard. (Tribune)

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