$1.2 million trade facility to boost Nigeria’s export capacity

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The World Trade Organization (WTO), in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), has launched a N1.9 billion ($1.2 million) Standard Trade Facility (STDF) aimed at enhancing Nigeria’s export capabilities and reducing instances of export rejections in European and Asian markets.

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the WTO, highlighted that the facility is focused on two key crops: sesame and cowpea, with Nigeria being the world’s largest producer and consumer of cowpeas. However, Nigerian exports of cowpeas and sesame have encountered increasing rejections in various destination markets due to non-compliance with international Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) requirements.

To address these challenges, the project aims to enhance the capacities of stakeholders along the sesame and cowpeas value chains. This includes improving agricultural practices such as pesticide application, hygiene techniques, harvest, post-harvest methods, and food safety standards.The project, initially funded with $1.2 million, will also involve the training of local food safety advisors to ensure sustainable implementation and compliance with international standards.

Source: Daily Trust

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