The Director General of Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), Dr Vincent Isegbe said the country was making efforts were to begin exportation of ornamental fish soon.
Dr Isegbe said the fish has a huge market and could earn the exporters huge forex.
The NAQS DG who spoke on Tuesday at the 2nd Director General’s Summit and Management Retreat in Lagos, said the quantity of exported ornamental fish is rising exponentially by the day.
His words: “we are aggressively developing export of ornamental fish. It’s a new frontier in aesthetic agriculture.
“Nigerians are discovering the potential of the ornamental fish export. And the quantity of exported ornamental fish is rising exponentially by the day”.
Isegbe said the vision of the Service is to become one of the top seven most advanced national agricultural quarantine authorities in the world by 2025. We believe that it is an attainable target.
“We are desperate to achieve it. The commitment I have made is every decision that we make at the Management level and every step we take must bring us closer to the realization of that goal”.
Speaking further on Nigeria’s export potentials, Dr Isegbe said Nigeria is in pole position to be a major force in the emerging organic products market.
“With comparative advantage in a broad range of commodities that is yet to be harnessed, we are sitting on an incredible goldmine”, he noted.
The DG said it behooves the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service to introduce the country to the wealth in the sunrise industry of organic farming.
“As the agency mandated to facilitate international trade in agricultural products, it’s our duty to grow the export of organic agricultural products to the full measure of our capacity as a country”, he added.
Furthermore, Dr Isegbe said “we have tapped renowned experts from United Nations International Development Organization (UNIDO) to guide NAQS to build from the scratch and equip three model laboratories benchmarked against the highpoint of current international standards.
“The labs will major in analysis and diagnosis of pesticide residues, mycotoxin detection and seed testing.
“We have a moonshot plan for the labs to earn accreditation for ISO 17025 and to serve as reference points in Sub-Saharan Africa”.
On the status of agro-export in Nigeria, he said Last year, the Agency produced Export Certification Value Chains (ECVCs) for Gum Arabic, Sunflower, Turmeric, Honey, Garlic, Snail, Cow Horns/Hooves, Nsukka Yellow Pepper and Onions.
“The ECVCs are easy-to-read, infographics-rich manuals that detail steps for producing, processing, packaging and labelling in-demand commodities so as to make them eligible for the export market”, he added.
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