The United States (U.S) Department of Agriculture /Foreign Agricultural Services in Nigeria, under the Agriculture Desk of the US Consulate in Lagos and the Nigerian- American Chamber OF Commerce (NACC), has charged the Federal Government to tackle insecurity head-on and invest more in food security.
The Counsellor for Agriculture Affairs (U.S Consulate in Lagos), Gerald Smith, made this known recently in Lagos, during a Breakfast Meeting between the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce, (NACC), and the Consulate on ‘US Mission’s Agric-Focused Activities in Nigeria’.
According to him, insecurity is hampering agricultural yields significantly, hence the need to take decisive and concerted effort to reverse the ugly trend. He commended the Lagos State government over the Imota Rice Mill in Ikorodu, which is expected to commence full production by the second quarter of 2022.
Smith added that the consulate together with NACC and NAFDAC would undertake a training/ workshop to add value to food safety and security, he implored all stakeholders with useful ideas to boost agriculture to offer such ideas, urging NAFDAC to enforce Food Safety laws. “We shall have a targeted workshop with NACC and NAFDAC for the purpose of getting more from Agriculture”, he added.
In a remark, the National President do NACC, Dame Adebola Williams, said one of the key imperatives of the Chamber was to continually engage all departments of the US Mission/Embassy in Nigeria on all trade and development related activities that are relevant to its members, and she would not leave any stone unturned to achieve such goal.
According to her, every aspect of the chamber: Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture and others would benefit from the efforts made by the Agriculture Desk of the US Consulate in Lagos.
Meanwhile, stakeholders at the session called on the National Assembly to pass the National Food Safety and Quality Bill 2019, as Nigerians deserve food safety regulations to safeguard their health and to make Nigeria’s economy competitive in global trade.
According to them, if passed into law, it would be for the interest of Nigerians as many anomalies would be fixed, as foods and other agricultural products meant for local consumption and those targeted for export would meet standards. They also added that Nigerians need to explore the African Growth and Opportunity Act, (AGOA), maximally.