The Nigerian government says plans are on the way to establish six plant clinics across the six geo-political zones in the country to mitigate against food losses caused by pest.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in Nigeria Mr.
Muhammed Abubakar disclosed this at a Ministerial media briefing to mark the International Day of Plant Health organised by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service NAQS in Abuja Nigeria’s capital.
The Minister who highlighted the challenges in plant health to include uncontrolled use of plant protection products such as the sniper and other lethal chemicals to store food products said there was a need to take plant health seriously as food crops are in constant danger of attack by viruses, bacteria, insects among others.
“Healthy plants are at the code of food security and our ability to meet our nutritional needs and dietary preferences hinges on the status of our plant health.
“These plant health threats undermine food security and increase the vulnerability of livelihoods dependent on crop value chains.
“Healthy plants mean a thriving economy.
The healthier the plant resources are the more business value Nigeria can generate from crop agriculture and create jobs in the crop value chains.
Abubakar noted that President Muhammadu Buhari in demonstration of strengthening the plant protection system, assented to Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) to manage and minimise risks to the agricultural economy, food safety and the environment.
The Minister added that enabling NAQS conduct conventional risk-targeted import inspections and export control measures was key to Nigeria maintaining a good reputation that would allow the country export.
In his remark, the Director General Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service Dr.
Vincent Isegbe stressed that his agency is committed to providing healthy food for Nigerians and the rest of the world.
“Nigeria spend much when ever there is any plant health challenge because the country has been blessed with diverse agricultural product the world needs.
“I assure you my Agency is working hard with other export Agencies in exporting healthy food for countries in the world.
Isegbe also lamented that most Nigeria’s agricultural produce are being rejected by European Countries due to poor packaging which do not meet international standards.
He said: “Most of the medicinal plants we export need to be grinded and packaged before exporting otherwise they would be prohibited”.
United Nations General Assembly declared every 6th of December to mark International Day of Plant Heath in recognition of the place of plant in nature and their value in the world.
The declaration was made to highlight the role of healthy plants in the protection of the environment, forest, and biodiversity.
FG to establish six plant health clinics to check food damages