Causes of International Rejection of Nigerian Cowpeas and Sesame Exports: Okonjo-Iweala

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The global market rejects Nigeria’s cowpea and sesame seed exports because they do not comply with international Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, according to Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Director General of the World Trade Organization.

At the recent introduction of seven trade support programs started by the WTO-ITC in partnership with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, this was reported by Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s former minister of finance, in Abuja.

According to her, from 2019 to 2021, pesticide residue levels were roughly treble the permissible limits found in cowpeas and sesame exports from Nigeria, as revealed by health and safety inspections.

If the health and safety concerns are not addressed, Nigeria and Sesame might both lose their status as leading producers and consumers of cowpeas globally, according to her.

Both the production and consumption of cowpeas are dominated by Nigeria. Among the many Asian markets that get sesame, the European Union, Turkey, Japan, and South Korea are among the most important buyers. Nigeria ranks fourth in the world for sesame exports.

“On the other hand, international SPS regulations have been a growing source of rejection for Nigerian cowpea and sesame exports in a number of target markets.”

“Nigeria is a major supplier of sesame to Japan, making up more than a third of the country’s total sesame imports. However, recent health and safety inspections have revealed cases where pesticide residue levels were almost twice the maximum limits allowed from 2019 to 2021,” she said.

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