Nigeria Receives $1.2 Million From WTO To Boost Food Safety, Agricultural Exports

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News in Brief:
– The World Trade Organization (WTO) has granted Nigeria a $1.2 million facility to boost food safety and agricultural exports.
– With the financing, Nigeria hopes to solve storage and trasportation challenges in exporting sesame seeds and cowpea.

In a move aimed at strengthening Nigeria’s agricultural sector and increasing export opportunities, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has inaugurated a $1.2 million Standards Trade Development Facility (STDF).

This initiative aligns with the STDF’s global objective of enhancing food safety, animal, and plant health standards in developing nations by promoting good agricultural practices.

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the organisation, upon arrival in Nigeria, affirmed to reporters that she was present with her team to contribute their expertise in helping the nation navigate the challenging times.

Furthermore, she reiterated the importance of diversification for the Nigerian economy, highlighting the potential of exporting various goods to boost trade, health, and agricultural sectors.

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala also revealed that the STDF program specifically targets challenges faced by Nigerian exports, particularly regarding sesame seeds and cowpea. She attributed the rejection of these products by international buyers to inadequate storage and transportation methods.

Nigeria holds the title of Africa’s third-largest producer of sesame seeds, with an annual output of roughly 500 metric tonnes. Cowpea production is also significant, exceeding 5.2 million metric tonnes annually. Thus, it is important for the country to be able to earn a chunk of foreign exchange from this products.

The project will involve collaboration between the WTO and the International Trade Centre (ITC) to provide technical assistance and capacity building for Nigerian stakeholders.

Okonjo-Iweala expressed her commitment to supporting Nigeria in overcoming its economic challenges and building the capacity of its farmers to meet international export standards.

This initiative signifies a collaborative effort to enhance food safety, improve agricultural practices, and unlock new export opportunities for Nigerian agricultural products.

Joseph Akahome
Joseph Akahome
Joseph O Akahome (OJ) is a writer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. He is an avid agriculturist, with a bias for poultry and an insatiable appetite for chicken wings. When he is neither reading nor researching, he likes to spend recreational time playing board games, or swimming in serene forested lakes.

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