The European Union has extended its ban on beans export from Nigeria by a further 3 years, says a recent reliable report which quoted a top official of the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service(NAQS). The earlier 1 year ban was to terminate on June 30 2016. The interpretation of this action is that the initial 1-year ban was a ‘soft yellow card ‘ ban which if nothing was done to address the issues raised would attract a tougher ban. Now, here comes the PENALTY ……..and the cheapest source of plant protein in Nigeria is facing rejection abroad !!!!. Obviously, this is a reaction in annoyance.
1 The EU has noted that its earlier warning was disregarded. It may now focus on other crops and other contaminants like mycotoxins
2 Trade imbalance will further widen between Nigeria and the EU
3 Further reduction in foreign earnings to Nigeria even when bean export earns Nigeria less than 1% of earnings
1 What measures were put in place by Nigeria between then and now to address the infraction complained about the chemical-dichlorvos –administered on beans ?.
2.What are the steps taken by Nigeria farmers and exporters of beans to reduce the level of dichlorvos between last year and now?
3 Specifically, what are the statutory steps to be taken by NAQS in situations like this, beyond releasing the bad news? If these steps were taken why did they still; attract this elongated ban? If not why were they not taken ?
4 If appropriate steps were NOT taken by Nigeria , then will it not be safe to mention words like ‘incompetence’, ‘negligence’, ‘disconnect’, ‘lack of extension service’, ‘lax monitoring approach’?
5 If the EU considers beans produced and marketed in Nigeria as toxic and dangerous to the health of her citizens, why should a Nigerian consumer consider same to be safe for consumption?
IF THE CROP IS BANNED IN EU COUNTRIES, IT SHOULD ALSO BE BANNED INJ NIGERIA
1Government should encourage public-private partnership in setting up analytical laboratories that will serve farmers and exporters
2 More extension workers should be employed with their skills regularly enhanced….and with incentives
3 Regular meetings of all stakeholders in the food and feed safety line
4 There must be collaboration between the EU and Nigeria on regular capacity building, interventions and other measures that will enhance health and international trade through wholesome food consumption
DF June 2016