The Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute, an organization within the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, presented the Federal Government with the accreditation certificate from the International Organization for Standardization on Thursday.
The government said that the NSPRI was now internationally accredited to certify qualified agricultural products intended for exports from Nigeria and that the agency will start this activity right away after receiving the ISO accreditation.
It claimed that this would lessen foreign countries’ rejection of Nigerian agricultural exports and hailed the NSPRI laboratory’s ISO certification, located in Ilorin, Kwara State, as a major accomplishment.
After accepting the ISO accreditation certificate on behalf of the Federal Government, Mustapha Shehuri, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, made this announcement in Abuja.
Shehuri, who was represented by Shehu Bello, Director, Agricultural Lands, and Climate Change Management Services, FMARD, said: “The accreditation of the laboratory for the research institute is a milestone, meaning that whatever research result that comes out of the lab is accepted internationally and complies with international best practices.”
When describing the NSPRI’s duties, the minister added, “What it does is inspect the quality of agricultural produce leaving our country and make sure it meets all standards.
However, if you do that and you didn’t conduct it in an ISO-recognized laboratory, it means the product will be subject to further checks outside the country, which you will have to pay for, and that will reduce the value of what you are exporting.
However, if the accreditation is completed domestically and complies with international standards, the value increases because you are spared the expense of conducting a second quality check abroad.
He asserted, “They (certified agro-products) are eligible everywhere, and you can contest it. By being accredited, you demonstrate compliance with widely accepted international standards.
“Therefore, whatever happens, you may utilize transparent standards to verify the information you are giving out. However, you won’t have access to those standards if you don’t have the accreditation. However, now that we have access to those standards, we can adhere to them, which makes it simpler for us to do more exports.
Patricia Pessu, the NSPRI’s executive director, stated that the institution began renovating laboratories and initiating the ISO accreditation process around three years ago thanks to increased financing over the previous four years.
“This is a wonderful accomplishment for NSPRI, as we can now take pride in a laboratory where analysis can be done with quality assurance that is credible, reproducible, robust, and results that are acknowledged globally,” she said.
“NSPRI can now be recognized as an institution that contributes to the quality and safety of food in Nigeria as a result of this accreditation, which is the immediate benefit. The institute is now listed on the food analysis world map, which will broaden our audience and influence.
Jesus continued, “Local food exporters would also encounter fewer difficulties at Nigerian ports by demonstrating the caliber of their food exports, as NSPRI’s food quality accreditation is widely acknowledged.
Additionally, there is a lower chance that food exports from Nigeria will be rejected by international export markets if they have been verified as having passed the NSPRI’s quality assurance examinations.