By Joke Falaju
In the face of the clamour to increase agro export so as to boost the nation’s foreign exchange, the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC), yesterday, 1st December 2022, commissioned the export of a container load of ginger by the Exporters Club of the Corp to China. The NYSC members were supported by the operators of the Nigeria Export Trade House in China under the mentorship and sponsorship of an agro export firm to locate buyers, sort and prepare the ginger in readiness for export.
The Chairman of the agro export firm, Zeenab Foods Ltd, Victor Ayimere, said that their aim was to change the mindset of Nigerian youths from being import dependent to be export-oriented such that the majority of Nigerian youths become exporters. He mentioned that the Federal Government gave them the mandate to set up and operate the Nigeria Export Trade House in China and other Far East countries, saying their intention is to ensure continuous export of agro commodities.
According to him, there is a huge demand for Nigerian agricultural produce by China, so their aim is to get as much people as possible to join in the export trade to China, adding that presently, they have a demand for 17,000 metric tonnes of agro produce and they are still trying to meet up with the demand.
Ayimere said for this season, their aim is to export 100 containers of ginger, 100 containers of sesame seed, ciciatora and soybean. On the rejection of Nigerian agro produce, he said products are rejected when the exporters do not follow specifications and try to cut corners, saying usually when orders are placed, they give specifications to which the exporters must adhere. “In our own case, we have quality control officers who make sure our goods are in line with the specifications,” he said.
The Chairman of Zeenab Group, however, lamented that the insecurity situation in the farming communities has greatly reduced the number of agro produce coming to them.
The Director, Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development, NYSC, Omotade Foloruso commended Zeenab Foods for supporting the Corp members in the export of agro produce, saying the skills acquisition is in line with their objectives at the NYSC of adding value to Corp members in the one year of national service such that they will not be liabilities to themselves, parents and the country.
While urging the Corp members to encourage others to join them, the Director urged the Corp members to take the skill acquisition seriously as it would further boost their income. He disclosed plans to encourage the NYSC management to partner with Zeenab Foods Limited to further train Corp members on a pilot scheme and see how the programme will go.