According to Dr. Vincent Isegbe, the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), the nation expects to make around $3 billion a year from the export of hibiscus to Mexico.
A phytosanitary protocol was signed in November by NAQS and its Mexican counterpart organization, SENASICA, in an effort to stabilize and expand the export of Nigerian hibiscus blossoms (zobo) to Mexico.
Isegbe remarked that the framework was created to future-proof bilateral hibiscus commerce “between Nigeria and the major importer of Nigerian hibiscus against unnecessary disruptions” in his speech at the 4th CG’s Summit and Management Retreat in Abuja.
He used the metaphor of the hibiscus to symbolize Nigeria’s underutilization and assumption of the many high-value exportable agricultural products.
Isegbe emphasized that increasing agro-exports will increase the nation’s total agricultural production, create sustainable wealth, and raise household incomes for a significant portion of the 70% of the population that works in agriculture and agro-allied businesses.
Additionally, he stated that the service’s Export Improvement Initiative and Export Certification Value Chains are presently striving to democratize MSMEs’ participation in agro-export activities.
“Our people work hard to develop crops and raise animals, both in the rain and the sun,” Isegbe added.
Although most of them live in rural areas. They barely manage to make ends meet thanks to the local market’s meager profits.
Many of them aren’t aware that they have the right to access the marketplaces of the ECOWAS and the African Continental Free Trade Area. Additionally, they have little to no knowledge of export rules. They don’t believe they are capable of exporting since they believe that only the wealthy and affluent can do it.
“By concentrating on small-scale farmers, off takers, and processors, we are aiming to tackle this difficulty of the ‘final mile’.”
The crucial challenge, according to him, is to reorient our food production system so that it can serve both the domestic market and the export sector, acting as the sole giant of the continent.
He claims that “NAQS is charged with the crucial responsibility of inspecting and certifying food and agricultural products for export and to facilitate global trade.
“Due to the nature of our mandate, we are in a unique position to lead the federal government’s effort to fully realize the enormous potential of non-oil exports.
The urgent need for the nation to increase national revenue earning, generate jobs for the teeming unemployed and underemployed youths, and pull millions of our compatriots out of poverty makes our work crucial at any time and on any day.