By Itohan Abara-Laserian
Lagos, Sept. 14, 2020 The Lagos State Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Support (APPEALS) project of the World Bank and the Federal Government on Monday trained its beneficiaries on certification and regulations.
Mrs Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo, the Lagos State Project Coordinator of APPEALS, said the training was to increase export potential of the project’s beneficiaries.
The theme was: “Meeting of Certification and Regulatory Agencies with APPEALS Beneficiaries.”
Naija247news reports that APPEALS Project is a six-year project developed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) in collaboration with the World Bank and other stakeholders.
Sagoe-Oviebo said there was urgent need for farmers to begin to contribute to the foreign coffers of the Nigerian economy through export of locally produced products.
According to her, farmers should be abreast of the standard that will earn their products premium prices.
“We are training our farmers on best practices that will ensure that they get certification from relevant agencies and to ensure that they are getting premium prices for whatever they are selling.
“This training is part of the activities to support our beneficiaries.
“This training will enlighten them in the certification and to understand the regulations so as to increase their export potential.
“A lot of our beneficiaries are encouraging us with the pace at which they are adopting the technologies we have demonstrated to them.
“As at the last quarter, we had over 70 that had adopted.
“Many of them are ready to run with what we have taught them, because it is not enough to provide grants, but to teach them how to put it to good use,” she said.
Sagoe-Oviebo said that the project had acquired a rice colour sorter machine to further prove the quality of rice and enhance the productivity of rice farmers in the state.
The coordinator also revealed that five thousand farmers had been trained in the three value chains of the project (rice, aquaculture and poultry).
Also, Dr Sadiq Yunus, a Deputy Director, Export Division, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), said that the training was necessary for better understanding of export procedures to help cushion effects of COVID-19 pandemic on farmers.
Yunus said that NAFDAC was ready to propel Medium Small Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) through facilitations at no cost.
“All our processes for product registration are automated and online.
“You can sit at the comfort of your office and upload your documents for whatever licences you want.
“Local products that are exported with NAFDAC licence have more value in the host country. There are processes to certify a product satisfactory to issue health certificate for that product.
“This training is to teach them what to do to ensure that their products are considered safe and of good quality, not only for the local markets, but also the international market,” he said.
Commenting, Mrs Oladosu Olanike, an expert on standardisation, spoke on Standardising Production and Processing of Aquaculture Products for Export Market and High Earned Market.
Olanike said farmers should identify potential customers, meet the standards of the importing country and ensure to achieve competitive pricing.
She highlighted reasons why farmers should target high earned market, high class point of sale and presentation and product packaging.