The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has authorised the importation of Oha leaves from Nigeria.
“We are advising the public of our decision to authorise the importation of fresh Oha leaves (Pterocarpus mildbraedii) from Nigeria into the continental United States,” a memo seen by PREMIUM TIMES said.
Famous in south-east and south-south Nigeria, Oha leaves are used in making Oha soup.
Although the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the USDA prohibits the importation of fruits and vegetables into the United States from certain parts of the world, Oha leaves met the risk analysis requirement which led to the authorisation of its importation.
The US prohibits importation of some fruits and vegetables to prevent plant pests from being introduced into the country.
According to USDA, “based on the findings of a pest risk analysis, which we made available to the public for review and comment through a previous notice, we have determined that the application of one or more designated phytosanitary measures will be sufficient to mitigate the risks of introducing or disseminating plant pests or noxious weeds via the importation of fresh Oha leaves from Nigeria.”
Road to authorisation
On 7 June, 2022, the agency published a notice in the Federal Register where it announced the availability, for review and comment, of a pest risk analysis that evaluated the risks associated with the importation of fresh Oha leaves from Nigeria into the continental United States.
The pest risk analysis consisted of a risk assessment identifying pests of quarantine significance that could follow the pathway of the importation of fresh Oha leaves from Nigeria into the US and a risk management document identifying phytosanitary measures to be applied to that commodity to mitigate the pest risk.
After 60 days of soliciting comments on the notice, the agency received no response by 8 August, 2022.
It proceeded to announce its decision to authorise the importation of fresh Oha leaves from Nigeria subject to phytosanitary measures identified in the risk management document.
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