PREAMBLE Sequel to the restriction place on export of some agricultural commodities to Europe by the European Union and subsequent re-shipment of beans exported to Europe from Nigeria. An unscheduled visit was paid to Oklanbest facility located at Nigeria Tobacco Company (NTC), Oke-Bola by three (3) scientists from Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS): Messrs K. O. Salami, I. K. Agbato and Dr. S. A. Kazeem based on the directive from Dr (Mrs) M. Habib.
Oklanbest is a company owned by Mrs Morenike Nwankwo, an exporter of Beans and Equsi. The processing and storage facility is located at Nigeria Tobacco Company compound along Oke Bola Road, Ibadan, Oyo State.

OBJECTIVES 1. To assess the Phytosanitary status of the facility.
2. To offer technical advice using (ISPM No. 7: Phytosanitary certification system) to the owner of the storage facility and assist in ensuring that the Cowpea and Egusi meant for export meet with the international standards.

INSPECTION On arrival, workers (Figure 1) were found sorting beans (variety unknown but called locally “Drum”) from the chaft and stones. The warehouse was observed to contain Cowpea (large quantity), few bags of egusi and cartons of Indomie. The team was informed that the beans and egusi were sourced directly from the farmers and were analysed for pesticide residues and aflatoxin (Labouratory results attached) before purchased. The owner Mrs Nwankwo lamented on the lack of encouragement for exporters.

After sorting, the beans are packed in 50kg sack, and stored along with unsorted and non-fumigated beans (Figure 2). The fumigated cowpea are stored in Nigeria Stored Product Research Institute (NSPRI) silos shortly after fumigation with phostoxin. Re-packaged in 20g permanent marker branded bags (Figure 4) for export.
Mrs Nwankwo informed the team that the consignment that was re-shipped to Nigeria was at the port awaiting clearance a day before the announcement of the restriction. This was done without consideration that the cowpea consignment had no pesticide residue from the results of the test done in UK. It was also learnt that export of the commodities to EU since the restriction through Ghana and Cameroon though at high cost, had no problem of rejection.

RECOMMENDATIONS 1. The processing facilities need to be re-organized to separate the different processing stages and processed commodity.
2. Appropriate and branded packaging material should be used for packaging
3. Identify and register exporter of the different commodities to ensure traceability
4. Identify and accredited laboratory where analysis can be performed until such a time NAQS labouratory are equipped and accredited for this purpose.
5. Consult with the EU on required analysis to be done on the different commodities and protocol that will be acceptable,br> 6. Convene a forum of all stakeholders in the use of their mandate to promote export of agricultural commodities.
7. Train NAQS officer or employ qualify personnel for analysis of pesticide residue and Mycotoxin.

In conclusion, Exporter should comply with regulatory provision pertaining to export of Agricultural products. It is however advised that the above mentioned recommendations if strictly adhered to will go a long way in ensuring Cowpea are pest free and internationally acceptable in the world market. .

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