The Kogi authorities say it has put in place needed measures to make sure implementation and strict enforcement of agricultural produce legal guidelines to arrest adulteration of cashew nuts produced within the state.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Kehinde Oloruntoba, disclosed this at a one-day workshop on “Cashew Nuts Quality Control and Regulations” organised for stakeholders within the cashew value chain in Anyigba, Kogi State.
The workshop organised by Federal Produce Inspection Service (FPIS) of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, attracted individuals from farmers’ associations, licensed consumers’ brokers, exporters, processors, agencies and parastatals.
Oloruntoba, who was represented by Mr Emmanuel Idenyi, Permanent Secretary of the ministry, mentioned “Nigerian cashew was the very best and of the best grade on this planet, however sadly, the standard has been on the ebb within the past two years.
“To forestall additional depreciation of high quality, we got here up with a number of measures that may forestall and arrest the adulteration of our produce by producers from different states.
“We at the moment are ensuring strict enforcement of the produce legal guidelines. We will guarantee 100 per cent compliance to arrest anybody collaborating or indulging in sharp practices.
“The baggage for use are coded and branded with Kogi’s identify and seal. Any unbranded produce that’s intercepted will likely be impounded.
“Security companies have been knowledgeable, Produce Guards have been mandated to implement the legal guidelines and they’re going to be all over the place, in the warehouses and even on the farms too”.
Mr Idris Dafang, Coordinator of the programme and Deputy Director within the Federal Produce Inspection Service, mentioned high quality of cashew nuts from Nigeria within the global market had developed into a difficulty matter of serious concern to the federal authorities.
He mentioned that the programme was not pleased with the serial rejection of cashew nuts from the nation in 2019 and wanted to make sure that each produce leaving the shores of Nigeria met required global best practice and standards.
The Coordinator mentioned that extra sensitization can be carried out throughout Kogi State and hopefully, within two years, the state would assume its place as the highest producer of cashew in Nigeria and the nation would reclaim its primary place in the global market.
In her goodwill message, Amina Abdulmalik, Director Produce, Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Lokoja Smart workplace, decried the extent of rejection of Nigerian cashew nuts in the global market.
She attributed this to lowered standards and urged individuals to imbibe needed information to reinforce high quality and enchancment.
Alhaji Ichapi Mohammed, National Leader of National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN) stated that production is never complete except it reaches the consumer.
“The impediment to our production is finance. We know what to do to improve the quality of our cashew but our farmers are impeded by finance. BOA, NEXIM and NEPC need to carry us along”, he mentioned.