The European Union (EU) has extended its ban on importation of dried beans from Nigeria by three years.
The Coordinating Director, Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) Dr Vincent Isegbe, disclosed this Thursday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
The EU banned importation of Nigeria’s dried beans in June 2015 on grounds that the produce contains high level of pesticide considered dangerous to human health and the ban was to expire this month.
According to Isegbe, the extension came when the Federal Government and its relevant agencies were working to ensure that the June dateline to lift the ban was met, saying that the official journal of the EU have accused Nigeria of not doing enough to lift the ban during the period of suspension. Isegbe quoted the EU journal as saying:
“The continued presence of dichlorvos (pesticide) in dried beans imported from Nigeria and maximum residue levels of pesticides shows that compliance with food law requirement as regards pesticide residual cannot be achieved in the short term.
“The duration of the importation prohibition should therefore be extended for an additional period of three years to allow Nigeria implement the appropriate risk-management measure and provide required guarantees.
“The measures provided for in this regulation are in accordance with the opinion of the standing committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed.’’
Mr. Isegbe however added that the extension should serve as opportunity for stakeholders to put their hands together to correct the mistake. He also called for sensitization of stakeholders, especially farmers, to do the needful from the farming stage and ensure that this embarrassment does not repeat itself.