The 31st Conference of Directors of Produce Inspection Service, Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, has said only trained produce professionals are qualified for the inspection and grading of food and cash crops for exports.
“Directors are demanding among others that all produce meant for export and local processing (Food and cash crops) must be properly inspected, graded and passed by trained produce professionals.”
This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of three days of deliberations made available to The Guardian yesterday in Abuja.
The demand is coming on the heels of the recent incident where tubers of yams exported outside Nigeria were adjudged to be rotten, a situation that was very embarrassing to the federal government.
The Communiqué also requested that the number of control posts where all revenue items on haulage will be collected should be harmonised and reduced in each state to minimise multiple taxation.
It noted, ‘’We counselled that state governments should approve retention of 40 per cent of total produce fees collected as Produce Development Fund or Produce Trust Fund. There is also the need for collaboration with Nigerian Custom Service (NCS), Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), on issues relating to standard of Exportable Agricultural Produce to prevent rejection at International markets.”