NIGERIA – The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has developed international standards for most of the country’s staple food products such as garri, dry beans, soya beans, rice to aid acceptance of its agricultural products in the international market.
According to Director, Standards Development, Chinyere Egwuonwu, the standards were developed to ensure they meet the global benchmark and put an end to the high level rejection of Nigeria’s agricultural produce at the international markets.
SON is looking to enhance uniformity of standards for agricultural products with CODEX to boost food export and stop rejections of local agro products overseas due to quality and integrity concerns.
“We have developed standards for many agricultural products, like Shea butter, dry beans, smoked fish, yam flour, plantain chips, sesame seeds, oil, Rice, Cocoa, Cocoa Butter and Garri.
“It will interest you to know that the standard we developed for garri is accepted globally and now adopted by countries in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
So, you need to appreciate that the standards we are talking about are indeed standard,” he said.
Out of 800 standards developed by the agency in one year, 339 are for agricultural produce covering code of conduct for the agriculture value chain ranging from planting, processing, harvesting, packaging and transporting these goods within and outside the country.
Some of the standards include the anti-bribery and corporate governance standards, the African traditional medicine, human resource management, hotel management.
Anti-bribery management system standard and the good governance standard were developed in support of the federal government’s fight against corruption.
Such moves on standardisation and quality assurance targets to promote the federal government’s economic development policies while opening opportunities for farmers, agro-allied operators and commodity exporters.
“It is important to also draw your attention to newly approved Nigeria Industrial Standards on African traditional medicine, human resource management, as well as tourism and hotel management among many others,” added Chinyere.