The Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Olusegun Awolowo, denounced the use of pesticide residues in the storage of dry beans and other legume crops.
Mr. Awolowo spoke at a training program on “Appropriate Storage Practices for Dried Beans” Friday in Awka.
Represented by Jackson Arnold, NEPC South East Coordinator, Mr. Awolowo urged bean producers, processors and traders to renounce such a practice.
He said the use of chemicals for crop preservation in the country had become of concern.
According to him, the European Union (EU) has suspended the importation of Nigerian dry beans due to the high amount of pesticide residues applied in their preservation.
“It was found that the amount was above the maximum level of residue required, this should cause concern.
“This training is good for farmers, processors and traders in the dried bean value chain,” he said.
He said many Nigerian farmers do not pay attention to the type of chemicals they use for crop preservation.
“The chemicals they use may not be banned; the problem here is that we have to stick to the required quantity.
“This will reduce incidents of rejection of Nigerian agricultural exports by European countries and other parts of the world,” he said.
Also speaking, Afolabi Bello, deputy director of NEPC, urged bean producers and exporters to prioritize quality crop production.
“The production of quality products will allow us to be competitive in the international market. If we don’t export, we can’t survive because we need foreign currency, ”he said.
Patricia Pessu, executive director of the Nigeria Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI), described the training as “a good omen” for farmers and traders.
At a conference titled “Proper Handling of Dried Beans for Export and Food Safety,” Ms. Pessu said the training will address the inappropriate use of chemicals for food and crop storage.
Represented by Grace Otitodun, Research Manager, NSPRI, she urged participants to make good use of the knowledge gained through the program.
Anambra Agriculture Commissioner Nnamdi Onukwuba expressed the need for maximum hygiene in the food processing chain.
“Farmers should strive to produce beans and other legumes organically, there are enough native materials that can repel pests and lead to better yields,” he said.
The Nigeria News Agency (NAN) reported that the theme of the program was “European Union (EU) Compliance and Global Market Requirements to Improve Competitiveness”.
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