The government of India has indicated interest in Nigerian farmers to export pigeon pea worth $100 billion to the nation, National Coordinating Director, Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), Dr. Vincent Isegbe has said.
Isegbe said the Federal Government got the offer after conducting its Pest Crop Survey (PCS) for some agriculture commodity in conjunction with the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA).
The NAQS coordinator broke the news in an interview in Abuja.
He said that essence of the crop survey was to determine the kind of pest that affects a particular local agricultural commodity and proffer a solution to boost agriculture.
Isegbe said: “We do what we call PCS. We have done for pineapple, sugar, rice, cashew, palm oil and of recent we did for the pigeon pea. We wanted to know the pest peculiar to some commodities, what extent and in what location nationwide so we keep data on them.
“The government of India wanted a confirmation that we can export a pest-free pigeon pea to their country and even if we have pests, they will want to know which pest, to what extent and their location. That was the report that our group of scientists worked on. They eventually sent it to the government of India and they that saw that it was okay for them to import. That is why they said we have a market worth $100 million and we can export.”
Describing the offer as a new opportunity to boost foreign exchange for the nation and create jobs, he added that the NAQS was already working with the pigeon pea value chain to meet demands of the Indian government.