Indications have emerged that the ban on exportation of beans and beans produce to the European Union countries, EU, imposed on Nigeria by the European Food Safety Authority, will be lifted by June this year.
The development came weekend following the visit of a EU/Dutch team to the Central Laboratory of the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, in Lagos. The team was in the country to inspect the procedures of the regulatory agency to ensure that future export of beans and other agricultural produce from Nigeria meet the standards of importing countries.
The European Food Safety Authority had in mid-2015 banned some agricultural produce which included beans from Nigeria, citing that the rejected beans were found to contain between 0.03mg per kilogramme to 4.6mg/kg of dichlorvos pesticide, when the acceptable maximum residue limit is 0.01mg/kg.
Speaking during the visit, the Acting Director General, NAFDAC, Mrs. Yetunde Oni noted that the ban has no doubt resulted in a huge economic loss to Nigeria; although she insisted that the beans which resulted in the ban were smuggled out of the country and did not pass through her agency. “The ban was placed about a year ago due to high insecticide residue in beans but let me sound a note of caution here that the beans that were rejected never passed through NAFDAC, they were beans produce smuggled out of the country. “The ban has brought about a huge economic loss in the sense that Nigeria has large expanse of land, we have a lot of farmers that produce beans and the beans are not able to go out.”
She reiterated that agricultural produce that passes through the agency never gets rejected because of the rigorous process it goes through before certification.