The Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service on Monday provided reasons why cowpea (beans) produced in Nigeria were unacceptable in crucial locations and some foreign nations.
The Director-General, NAQS, Vincent Isegbe, gave the explanation during a strategic engagement with the President, Cowpea Association of Nigeria, Shitu Mohammed, in Abuja.
Isegbe also stated that stakeholders must work together to address the weak link in the cowpea value chain in order to establish continuity of market access for Nigerian beans.
He was quoted in a statement issued by the Head, Media, Communications and Strategies, NAQS, Gozie Nwodo, as saying, “The pattern of boom and bust in cowpea export owes to the ingrained issue of high pesticide residue.
“The pesticides are largely introduced during the storage phase. The residue levels in the cowpea tend to rise above the maximum threshold set by certain Customs union and this makes the product unacceptable in crucial destinations.”
Isegbe added, “We need to make a clean break from imprudent application of storage pesticides and consolidate a reputation for producing and delivering cowpea that satisfy relevant quality criteria.”
He said the country lost foreign exchange and thousands of jobs when export of cowpea or any other agricultural commodity was suspended on account of a steady trend of intolerable quality defects.