The Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, has reiterated its commitment towards improving the capacity of stakeholders and Exporters in the production of cashew and rice value chain.
The Executive Director/CEO of the Council, Nonye Ayeni stated this in Abuja during the NEPC/GIZ Interactive with Cashew and Rice Value Chain Actors.
The Executive Director of NEPC who was represented by the Director, Policy and Strategy in the Council, Mr Lawal Shehu said the interaction became necessary as part of measures to guard against export reject and promote export of the nation’s Non-oil products most especially the agricultural commodities.
“This interaction signals the commencement of an array of programmes designed to implement the MOU signed in August 2023 between the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH Market Oriented Value Chains for Jobs and Growth in the ECOWAS Region (GIZ-MOVE)” She stated.
According to her, the MOU among other things is aimed at expediting realisation of the Federal Government’s Agenda of Value Addition and product diversification for export through inclusiveness, innovative technology, Smart Agriculture, capacity building and thematic research.
“Distinguished participants, within this context, both parties have collaborated in putting up today’s programme to engage critical stakeholders in the Cashew and Rice Value Chains. We deliberately invited small, medium and large scale farmers, aggregators, processors, Service providers, exporters etc. The programme will feature a mini display of products to enable an on-the-spot assessment of current production, packaging and labelling position. The import of this exercise is to identify possible gaps that will provide the basis for implementing future programmes and this will ensure that Nigerian’s export of Cashew and Rice derivatives conform to buyer’s requirements and reduce export reject considerably” the Executive Director of NEPC explained.
Nonye Ayeni stressed that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) with about 1.3 billion people presents enormous opportunities for Nigeria high value rice and cashew products.
“It will interest you to note that the rice we are seeing today is used to produce rice flakes, rice cereal, rice flour etc. Predominantly, women play active role in the rice sector, hence, a great opportunity to achieve inclusiveness in non-oil export and the NEPC/GIZ programme presents a veritable platform to ensure that the output from the farm gate to aggregation, from processing to certification and from packing to export is in line with best practices” She added
Earlier, the Country Coordinator of GIZ MOVE, Narcisse Kindohounde said the Organization would continue to compliment the efforts of NEPC towards enhancing the export of Nigeria’s Non-oil commodities most especially in the agricultural sector.
He also promised GIZ MOVE technical support to all stakeholders and Nigerian Exporters towards boosting their capacity.
Edited By Grace Namiji
Written by: Bukky Alabi
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