The Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, said the federal government will soon establish commodities’ certification centres across the six geo-political zones to aid certification and standardisation.
Mr. Ogbeh made the disclosure in Kano on Monday during the flag-off of the nationwide advocacy on agricultural quality control and standardization.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the minister was represented at the occasion by a director in the ministry, Aminu Babandi.
He said that the federal government received 48 notifications from European Union on aflatoxin and other contaminants in the last one year.
He said that the country received 48 notifications between July 2016 and June 2017 from EU on export goods due to aflatoxin and many other contaminants either biological or chemical.
“We will establish commodities certification centres across the zones to aid certification, standardisation and traceability.
“The ban on dry beans from Nigerian origin by EU therefore geared our attention to what is an eye opener that we have actually been consuming poison unknowingly,” he said.
Mr. Ogbeh said that Nigerians deserved good, safe and quality agro outputs for consumption and should be globally accepted like their counterparts across the globe.
He added that quality control of commodities starts from the field operations, including land clearing, soil testing, seeds selection, chemical application and good agricultural practices.
“There is no time than now to mainstream food safety into agricultural production if we want to really diversify our economy using agriculture as veritable tool and also have our own share,” he said.
In his address, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje said that reverting to agriculture was the only antidote to the nation’s economic crisis.
“Agriculture must be productive. And we are happy that the present administration under Muhammadu Buhari had taken agriculture as a very important issue of economic development,” he said.
He urged the federal government to site one of the proposed zonal certification centres in Kano due to its potentials.