Freight increase upsets agro shippers
Agroexporters have expressed dismay over the increase shipping freight by shipping agents. They fear that this would lead to higher costs and lower competitiveness of produce.
Chairman, Atanda and Anjorin and Sons, Mr Sunday Anjorin, said the industry is challenged by various charges for haulage for exports by shipping firms, which most times eaten into the profit margin.
He said such charges were not working in favour of exporters to reduce inputs costs, even as a stronger currency erodes their earnings.
He said there were regulations to protect plant, animal and human health which affect processed agricultural products.
One of the main reasons that small and medium scale producers are not participating in export of agricultural commodities is that they cannot meet strict food safety and quality standards required by foreign buyers.
According to him, certain developments in international trade are a matter of concern, especially the increasingly complex and stringent food safety and environmental requirements .
Such requirements , include phytosanitary regulations and traceability for fruit and vegetables.
Earlier, President, National Cashew Association of Nigeria(NCAN), Tola Faseru, said the industry was facing new challenges and needed to continue to adapt and upgrade its capabilities.
“This is as a result of emerging regulations and standards, as well as health, environment and security concerns, notably in Europe, North America and Japan. Consequently, creating new and increasing demands on the packaging of agro exports. For this reason, he advised small business exporters to develop the mindset that they are competing in international markets and packaging is an important part of that competition.
“The impact is great on exporters of cashew nuts. Consequently, exporting cashew kernels now requires volume, a large investment in factory, equipment and raw material to achieve international expectations.“
He stressed that deterioration in export crop quality was serious.
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