USDA explains rejection of Nigeria’s agricultural produce in America

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has attributed the rejection of Nigerian agricultural produce to the lack of food safety documentation.

The Councillor for Agriculture Affairs, USDA, Christopher Bielecki, disclosed this yesterday in Abuja at a Food and Feed Safety Expertise Coordination workshop organised by the Nigeria Economic Summit Group in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the Food and Agriculture Export Alliance (FAEA), and the University of Missouri (MU).

He said: “I have spoken to producers who are challenged with the difficulty of exporting Nigerian agricultural produce to the world, including the U.S.; they have reported a high rate of rejection, and this rejection is mostly a result of a lack of documentation on food safety.”

While mentioning that the issue of rejection of agricultural produce in America is not unique to only Nigeria, the USDA official stated that his office is working to ensure that food and agricultural exporters into the U.S. abide by the rules of food safety regulations and laws.

Bielecki stated that improving food safety will not only help reduce rejections and stimulate trade but also help Nigeria improve food and agricultural trade, increase GDP, and increase foreign reserves.

The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Ali Pate, stated that in a deliberate effort to ensure the country attains national health security status, the ministry is set to validate the revised National Policy on Food Safety and Quality as well as launch the first National Integrated Guidelines for Foodborne Disease Surveillance and Response.

The revised policy, he stated, will look at new and emerging areas that will improve the regulatory, enforcement, and data-gathering systems, as well as set the roadmap for the integrated surveillance of foodborne diseases and establish protocols for the response to food safety emergencies in the country.

While stating that food security is not only about the availability and affordability of food, it is also about ensuring that the foods consumed are safe, healthy, and nutritious. Pate called for increased collaboration by relevant agencies to support the ministry in their commitment to providing effective policies, regulations, and monitoring systems that ensure continuous improvement in food safety standards and practises.

NESG Chief Executive Officer (designate), Dr. Tayo Aduloju, mentioned that Nigeria’s commitment to upholding the highest food safety standards is paramount to the well-being and progress of the country, saying that by collaborating and pooling collective expertise, regulatory frameworks can be strengthened to enhance the overall quality of food and feed in the country.

Aduloju stated that for Nigeria’s agricultural sector to thrive, there was a need for effective regulatory, institutional, and policy frameworks that addressed the gaps in food and feed safety to not only improve the well-being of citizens but also impact the country’s position in international trade. To benefit effectively from the AFCTA, reforming food and feed safety systems in Nigeria is inevitable.


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button

Discover more from Agriculture Journalist

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading