Business

NEPC organises workshop for 2,000 exporters in Kwara

No fewer than 2,000 farmers, merchants, warehouse managers, processors, exporters among others in the dried beans value chains participated in a one-day training on appropriate storage practices of dried beans for exportation held in Ilorin, Kwara State capital, on Thursday.
The workshop organised by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), was focused on Good Agriculture Practices, Good Warehousing Practices and Good Storage Practices.
The Executive Director, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Mr Olusegun Awolowo, emphasised that the training became imperative to ensure participants adhere to best practice that would ensure dried beans available for export and local consumption complied with Food Safety standard as well as safe for consumption and export.
Represented by the Coordinator, North Central Region, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Mr Oluwole Monehin, the Executive Director, explained that the training sought to address the suspension of import of Nigerian dried beans by the European Union, due to the high level of pesticide residue.
Awolowo explained that reason for the suspension was hinged on application of pesticides like ‘sniper’ in process of preserving dried beans by merchants and warehouse managers in their storage process.
He explained that the training was part of the concerted efforts by council at reducing the incidence of rejection of agricultural exports to Europe Union and other parts of the world.
The Executive Director added that the training was also targeted at easing global market access for exportable non-oil products.
According to him, “In order to address this issues associated with the preservation of dried beans, the United Nation Industrial Organization (UNIDO), under the National Quality Infrastructural Project(NQIP), in collaboration with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), and other relevant stakeholders developed the concept of Conduit of Excellence(CoE).
“This concept seeks to improve the quality, safety, integrity, standard and marketability of Nigeria agricultural commodities for regional and international markets “.
The Kwara state Commissioner for Enterprise, Femi Abdulwahab Abgaje commended NEPC for their commitment in enhancing exporting activities in the state.
According to him, “There is need for us to have a paradigm shift and concentrate on this agricultural sector with a view to reduce overdependence on oil”.
He therefore, charged participants to pay attention to the training and in return use the knowledge gained for the benefit of the society, saying that thinking outside the box is the way forward.
Highlight of the workshop include, training session and sensitization campaign to the Ita- Aman market on the standard process of the Nigerian dried beans.

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