The extension of the ban on export of dried beans from Nigeria for the next three years by the European Food Safety Authority under European Union (EU) may cost Nigerian farmers an estimated $10 billion loss annually.
In June 2015, the EU imposed ban on some agricultural produce, including beans, from Nigeria, on the grounds that they contained high level of pesticides considered injurious to human health.
The rejected beans were found to contain between 0.03 mg per kilogramme to 4.6 mg per kilogramme of dichlorvos pesticide, when the acceptable maximum residue limit is 0.01mg per kilogramme.
The ban was to last till June 30, 2016, to give Nigerian authorities time to provide an export control plan and assurance that the beans exported to European countries comply with the EU minimal risk levels for hazardous substances.
The ban was however extended by three years as the EU accused Nigeria of not doing enough to lift the ban during the period of suspension.
Before now, the ban has already brought about a huge loss in the sense that Nigeria has a lot of farmers producing beans,which is not allowed to go out.
Stakeholders and consumers are worried that Nigeria might experience scarcity of beans if government fails to persuade EU to reverse the ban placed on the product, as farmers may avoid going into production of the produce by diverting to other crops that will enrich their purse.
Noting that no farmers will continue to produce a product for three years without making any income from it.
Relevant agencies of government, including SON, NAFDAC and Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, had claimed to be collaborating with one another to resolve the issue, yet it had remained unresolved.
Speaking with Daily Sun, the Group Executive Chairman, Afro Dimension Company Limited, Kabir Bawa, said that the ban is all about politics, saying that there are some people from other countries doing everything to benefit from the ban.
He said government needs to be proactive in the area of processing, storage capacity,and not just about government providing more money to farmers to produce.