By Deji Abdulwahab
Nigeria realised N212.73 billion from agricultural product exports at the end of the fourth quarter of 2016.
This was disclosed in excerpts of a book entitled: ‘‘Making steady, sustainable progress for Nigeria’s peace and prosperity: a mid-term scorecard on the President Muhammadu Buhari administration,’’
It was authored by the Presidential Media Team.
The book, which will be presented to the public on Nov. 16 in Abuja, was sighted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
“At the end of 2016, agricultural goods, as share of total trade, got N212.73 billion and 4.02 per cent.
“Agricultural goods’ exports were 2.7 per cent higher in the fourth quarter of 2016 than third quarter of the year.’’
It stated that the products, which contributed most to agricultural product exports in the fourth quarter, were sesame seeds with N6.46 billion, frozen shrimps and prawns with N4.4 billion.
According to the report, flour and meals of soya beans contribute N2.59 billion; cashew nuts in shell, N0.95 billion, and crude palm kernel with N0.62 billion.
It stated that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development had commenced work on the development of a five-year (2017-2021) action plan on Single Quality Control Management Plan, as recommended by the European Union.
“The plan is to meet international standards, inter-state trading and global acceptance of the nation’s commodities.
“The commodities targeted for exports include cocoa, palm produce, groundnut, cashew, yam (flour and tubers) sesame seed, pineapple, banana/plantain, tea, ginger, coffee, kola nut, shea butter, pulses, hides and skins, potato, fruit and vegetables.’’
The report said the ministry had commenced an undertaking of strategic intervention in the Kenaf value chain for cultivation, processing, and manufacturing of Kenaf/Jute bags for packaging.
“Displeased to share the latest rejection of our produce at the European Union Border Controls, the ministry has commenced steps towards bringing the standards of Nigeria’s agricultural exports to global standards.
“This culminated in two meetings held in Lagos, in January and February 2017, on food safety and zero reject of agricultural products.
“Standards and Quality control measures are now being developed in response to the rejection, last year, of exports (as in beans in the EU and some other commodities),’’ the report said.
It added that the ministry was taking a pioneering role in the mechanisms to safeguard Nigeria’s agricultural exports from being rejected at the frontier markets.
The publication was edited by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity; Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity, and Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity, (Office of the Vice President).
The book, authored by the Presidential Media Team, is a documentation of the notable achievements of the Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration since it was inaugurated on May 29, 2015.
President Buhari wrote the foreword of the 348-page book, containing milestones of all the federal ministries and some select departments and agencies in the last two years.
The Buhari Media Support Group also contributed to the compendium rich with text and visuals.
The book will be reviewed by Prince Tony Momoh while APC National leader Bola Tinubu is the keynote speaker/book Presenter.