China is set to establish five Sorghum plantations in different zones in Nigeria as part of the deal with the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS).
The Director-General of NAQS, who disclosed this at the 2nd Director General’s Summit and Management Retreat in Lagos, said Nigeria would also export forage Sorghum to China which is also part of the deal.
“We have paved the way for the export of Nigerian forage sorghum to China through the signing of a protocol on phytosanitary requirements with the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China.
“This framework has granted Nigerians access to the largest sorghum market. In addition, the deal will lead to the establishment of five (5) sorghum plantations in different zones of the country by the Chinese,” he said.
Also, Dr Isegbe said the Agency had also established six plant health clinics in the six geopolitical zones across the country as a pilot step.
He said efforts were still ongoing to ensure that the plant health clinic was established in all the senatorial districts in Nigeria.
“We have established six (6) plant health clinics in the six (6) geopolitical zones of the country. This is the pilot step in our strategy to spread plant health infrastructure to the grassroots. We will gradually multiply the NAQS plant health clinic footprint until there is one to serve each senatorial district in Nigeria,” he noted.
He said the Agency was also upscaling its laboratories in Lagos, Ibadan and Abuja to world-class laboratories, and they are near completion.
While admonishing the staff, Dr Isegbe said the Agency must embrace innovation if it wants to join the league of leading agricultural quarantine authorities in the world.
“The reason we underscore innovation is that it is the way to go. NAQS must embrace ongoing innovation if we are to join the league of the leading agricultural quarantine authorities around the globe.
“Agricultural quarantine is conducted in the global arena. There are standards and requirements that govern the quarantine community. So, you cannot play by your local rules. You must ensure that you are able to relate and transact successfully across board.
“Innovation is a matter of life and death because the bar in global quarantine keeps going higher and higher. And we must keep pace to stay competitive. We must actively engage the current trends and move with the times. We cannot afford to stick with business as usual and risk being left behind,” he said.
“Moreover, the world is changing rapidly. The global economy is going green. The energy market is decarbonizing. The international food production is steadily shifting to organic agriculture. Many people are awakening to the importance of healthy nutrition to human health, with a resultant upswing in the consumption of plant-based diets.
“The interplay of these developments calls for a repositioning on our part. The vista of organic agriculture is widening, and many nations are jostling to corner the market,” he added.