NIGERIA – The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has released new Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS), and Codes of Practice for planting beans seed across the country, reports the Guardian.

The standards come to address issues like preservation of the food crop from planting to the table while ensuring that the commodity is safe for consumption.

The standards are also relevant for beans along the value chain, through a set of activities that work to add value to the product.

The approved standards will not only boost the quality of goods and services available to Nigerians but also improve their competitiveness in the local and international markets.

The standards include Standard for Dry Beans (NIS 1030: 2018); Code of Good Agricultural Practice: Planting of Dry Beans (NCP 065: 2018), Code of Good Practice: Harvesting of Dry Beans (NCP 067: 2018); Code of Practice for Packaging of Dry Beans (NCP 064: 2018), Code of Practice: Storage and Transportation of Dry Beans (NCP 066: 2018).

Concerns arising in the recent past include use of a pesticide for the preservation of the crop on sale.

Some vendors are using unwholesome, sub-standard or life endangering products or practices, as the sector is characterized with very limited and narrow-based value addition.

Director-General, SON, Osita Aboloma said the organisation seeks to create awareness on such matters, something critical for effective standards implementation and enforcement in Nigeria.

According to him, the standard and codes of practices, which have been approved for use by the Standards Council, were results of consensus decisions by stakeholders, including, farmers, processors, Federal Ministry of Agriculture (FMoA) officials, among others.

He also disclosed that plans are ongoing among the FMoA, other regulatory agencies, and SON for a nationwide advocacy programme for farmers, processors, and extension workers in states and local governments on the standard and codes of practice for beans and other grains.

Last month, SON approved a record 399 new products and services standards for publication and use in Nigeria.

In addition to developing standards for staple food products, the standards agency unveiled new standards for dry beans to aid acceptance in global markets.