AfCFTA: SON, APSAN STRENGTHEN COLLABORATION ON STANDARDISATION OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCE

Signing the MOU: DG SON (center left); Director Legal,SON (Center right)Barrister Umaru Kawu; DGCOS (left) Prof. Kunle Olobayo; National President APSAN,Comrade Aloys Akortsaha (right)

 

The DG SON (Standing left) and APSAN National President(right) holding the signed MoU

As part of its efforts to ensure Nigeria’s successful integration into the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Agricultural Produce Sellers Association of Nigeria (APSAN) at the SON Corporate Headquarters, Abuja.

In his welcome address, the SON Director General (DG), Mallam Farouk Salim, said the MoU signified the beginning a working partnership that required both parties to coordinate and work together in order to uphold quality assurance of agricultural produce in the country.

Salim stated the recognition for APSAN as one of the key players in the agricultural market, hence SON’s willingness to form a partnership that allows for direct stakeholder engagement in the fight to kick substandard products out of the Nigerian market.

“the cooperation is major because agriculture is the backbone of our economy in this country and with the help of the association, we should be able to make sure that everything is up to standard and well protected in the market,” he explained.

The SON Boss highlighted the mutually beneficial nature of the MoU, stating that APSAN stood to benefit from SON’s expertise in standardisation and training, while SON would gain direct access to the farmers and sellers of substandard products through APSAN to regulate that sector.

“We can work with them-both small scale and medium scale industries in agriculture to help them not only market their products properly, but certify them in such a way that when they go to the next country, because of this free trade, they will have our stamp on it and that will make sure that the receiving country knows the products are up to standard,” he said.

The APSAN National President, Comrade Aloys Akortsaha called on Nigerians and all members of APSAN, dealers and farmers to avail themselves for training and retraining, explaining that, “SON has given us standards and journals which are the legal documents that we will be using to carry out our duties.”

CSP James Vandefam (Rtd.), the Task Force Commander of APSAN also speaking, reiterated that the partnership will bring a boost to the quality of produce in the market.

“Our work is to ensure that whatever farmers produce and send out there is what the consumers are going to get.”

He added that APSAN would work with SON to ensure publicity and training is provided in an effort to sensitize Nigerians after which enforcement can begin.

Group Photo of the SON Management Team and APSAN Board Members


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