Why Nigeria’s cowpeas, sesame exports face rejection in Int’l market – Okonjo- Iweala

The Director General of the World Trade Organisation, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said non-compliance with international Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, SPS, requirements is why Nigeria’s Cowpeas and Sesame seeds export face rejection in the global market.

Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, disclosed this in Abuja at the recent launch of seven trade support programmes initiated by the WTO-ITC in collaboration with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC.

She stated that health and safety inspections of Nigeria’s cowpeas and sesame exports showed that pesticide residue levels were nearly double beyond the maximum limits from 2019 to 2021.

According to her, Nigeria may lose its place as the world’s producer and consumer of cowpeas, and the same goes for Sesame if nothing is done about the health and safety concerns.

“Nigeria is the world’s largest producer and consumer of cowpeas. Sesame is primarily an export crop, and Nigeria is the world’s fourth-leading producer, exporting to the EU, Türkiye, Japan, South Korea and other Asian markets.

“However, Nigerian cowpea and sesame exports have increasingly faced rejections in several destination markets due to non-compliance with international SPS requirements.”

“Nigeria accounts for over a third of Japan’s sesame imports – but health and safety inspections during the past few years have found instances where pesticide residue levels were nearly double the maximum residue limits permissible from 2019 to 2021”, she stated.



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