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Nigeria’s Agric Exports Facing Rejections Overseas – WTO DG

The World Trade Organisation says Nigeria has lost its leading position in the agriculture export markets because its agricultural commodities do not meet the sanitary and phytosanitary requirements of the foreign markets.

According to WTO, despite the abundance of arable lands and increased investments, the nation has transitioned into a net importer of farm produce that was previously cultivated domestically, undermining efforts aimed at ensuring food sustainability.

The Director-General, WTO, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, disclosed this in Abuja at the launch of seven trade support programmes initiated by the WTO-ITC to boost the development of Nigeria’s trade and industry standards.

The initiatives namely the Standards Trade Development Facility, Digital Trade Initiative support, Women Exporters Entrepreneurship support, National Trade Portal and cotton development initiative aim to provide technical support to strengthen food safety, animal and plant health capacity in developing countries, address challenges of e-commerce digital trade divide and establish a world-class technology centre for all trade-related data and information in Nigeria.

Specifically, the WTO DG said Nigerian cowpea and sesame exports were increasingly facing rejections in several destination markets due to non-compliance with international SPS requirements.

She said the failure to comply with regional, global and import country sanitary and phytosanitary standards has resulted in loss of sales, revenue, and hard currency due to export rejects.

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