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By Eze Sampson, Abuja

On Tuesday 13th July, Standard Organization Of Nigeria, SON and Agricultural Produce Sellers Association of Nigeria,APSAN signed a memorandum of understanding to promote and maintain standard of agricultural products in Nigeria.

According to the Director-General of SON, Mallam Farouk Salim, during the signing of the MoU in Abuja today, described the ceremony as necessary, according to him, the cooperation is important as Agriculture is the backbone of the economy of Nigeria.

He said with the help of an association like APSAN, the organisation will be able to maintain the standard of Agricultural produce in the Nigerian market.

“APSAN would get a lot of experience, both in management, product marketing, labeling and packaging training. We can work with both medium and large scale training in the agricultural industry to help them market their products properly but certify them in such a way that when they go to another country, with our stamp, the receiving countries would know that this product is up to standard”, he stated.

Also speaking at the occasion, the National President of APSAN, Comrade Aloys Akortsaha explained that apart from making sure Nigeria stands to gain good and standard products, he said that the association stands as a middleman between the federal government and the farmers.

In his words, “This MoU is going to facilitate the access to farmers, dealers and also perpetrators of sub-standard products and we would investigate any wrong thing that is done wrongly against farmers and dealers that are not satisfied, we would make sure the right thing is done.”

“My message for members of APSAN and farmers, dealers, is that they should enroll themselves for training. First and foremost, you have to be trained. Already SON has given us the legal documents that we will use to train them.”

In the same vein, North-West Chairman, APSAN, Alhaji Ibrahim Shuaibu noted that the signing will give the agency the capacity to tackle substandard products in the markets as well as bringing the sellers of these substandard products to book.

On his part, the Chairman of the APSAN task force, Mr.Vandefan James, said this epoch event will give a boost to the standardization of agricultural produce, saying “food is essential and once you start taking in substandard food, it is like eating poison.”

“Our work is to ensure that whatever farmers produce and send out there, that is what consumers are going to get. Whatever SON is against, we will also stand against that”, he concluded.

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