NAQS seeks partnership to address plant health diseases
The Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), has called for concerted efforts from stakeholders to address the threats being posed by old and emerging pests and diseases to human civilization, noting that challenges impinge on global food security, requires concerted multilateral synergy.
NAQS Director-General, Dr Vincent Isegbe, made the call in Abuja at the opening ceremony of the 31st Technical Consultation among Regional Plant Protection Organization (RPPOs).
The NAQS boss who was represented by the Director, Animal Quarantine, Dr Akinjo Abiodun, explained that plant health is central to the Sustainable Development Goals, adding that the diseases represent the nation’s obstacles to achieving the goals.
Dr Isegbe, who said there is room for improvement in Nigerian plant quarantine environment harped on the need for more investment to stimulate research on endemic pests and diseases, boost the country’s equipment base and strengthen expertise.
He said the RPPOs should be inclined to offer technical support and share resources to help the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) surmount its constraints.
Dr Isegbe noted that NAQS has established six plant health clinics in the six administrative quarantine zones across the nation as part of its strategy to scale up the national plant health infrastructure to the proportion of the country’s present and potential needs.
“They are equipped to accentuate the sensitivity of our early pest warning system and diagnostic acuity.
” Part of our challenge in fulfilling export quality standards is lack of awareness on the part of stakeholders across the value chain about the applicable phytosanitary standards,” he said.
The Country Representative, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Suffyan Koroma, expressed the organisation’s readiness to partner and collaborate with the Nigerian International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) contact point on all issue relating to plant protection and health.