Nigeria lost over $80m for not exporting Hibiscus in 2 years

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NIGERIA lost 80 million dollars –an equivalent of 28.8 billion naira- in the last two farming seasons due to the lull in the export of Hibiscus flower (zobo), the director-general of the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), Dr. Vincent Isegbe, has said.


In a chat with journalists on Thursday in his office in Abuja, Dr Isegbe lamented that ‘’the lingering ban on export of the product to Mexico, the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus, has had effect of freezing one of Nigeria’s most significant foreign revenue streams in the agricultural sector. ’’

He explained that Mexico suspended the import of Hibiscus flowers from Nigeria in 2017 on account of the presence of a storage pest in some cargoes which originated from Nigeria.

Since then, NAQS, which is the lead agency responsible for facilitating international trade in Nigerian agricultural commodities, has been working hard to reopen the gateway of the Mexican market to Nigerian Hibiscus business as soon as possible.

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“We are desperate to achieve the resumption of export to our largest Hibiscus trading partner. Thousands of jobs are at stake too.

We have developed a work plan in consultation with relevant stakeholders across the value chain (namely, Hibiscus farmers, suppliers, transporters and cleaners) to serve as a pathway to regaining Nigerian access to the Mexican market.

“This work plan aims to get everyone on the same page in the interest of achieving industry-wide compliance with the applicable export grade standards for Hibiscus,” he said.

Dr. Isegbe disclosed that the implementation of the work plan stands at 90 per cent.

He called on all stakeholders to rally round NAQS to push the work plan to the finish line.

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