Shipping agent seeks government support for farmers

David Adekunle, Lagos

Nigerian government has been advised to give an intensive support to farmers on technicalities associated with exportation of goods and commodities.

The Managing Director, Oceanglory Commodities Limited, Peter Cole said “Nigerian farmers overtime have proven to government that they have what it takes to boost the agriculture sector and there was need to encourage them to boost commodities export.”

According to him, Nigeria has one of the best crops and commodities exported to foreign countries, urging exporters to “improve their standard in the area of packaging of commodities”.

High demand
Cole stated that most times Nigerian products are in high demand internationally but unavailability of the commodities caused setbacks to the business.

The shipping expert noted that in 2017, its shipping agency arm handled a large chunk of break bulk export with over 43,500 metric tonnes which include cashew, yam, hibiscus flower, sesame seed, gum arabic, ginger soya beans and garri.

“Based on experience, I will say Nigeria has one of the best crops and commodities exported to other countries.”

“This year alone, we have done a lot of export. The first vessel we did was 5,500 metric tons, the next we did was 10,000 metric tons and from there, we went on to load 28,000 metric tons.”

The Oceanglory boss, who described European countries as a continent where regulation of imported commodities is very high in order to maintain standards, stressed the need for government to support exporters in the packaging of their products.

“Europe has one of the highest regulations in terms acceptability. The last vessel we handled had high commendations from our buyers in Spain for meeting every requirement needed despite the manual nature of loading the items.”

“It’s unbelievable to them that in this modern age and time, we go about loading the items neatly and it takes two or three days to get a vessel loaded and we are able achieve it within a record time,” he said.

Despite the manual operations at the nation’s seaports in loading of Nigerian produce for export, Cole appreciated the fact that the commodities were neatly arranged manually by dockworkers.

He, however, lamented that Nigerian exports are not enough to satisfy the needs of the international business community.

Cole added that Nigeria does not have sufficient quantity of commodities to export despite the seasons because farmers lack capacity to supply expected volume and most times, this negatively affects contracts and the business.

Sammie Idika