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Experts blame poor Agro exports on bad policies, urge state Govts to utilize their cargo airports

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A cargo shed

Experts in cargo and logistics business say the country is yet to harness the huge potential that abound in the exportation of agricultural produce.

Speaking at the agro export air logistics seminar of the Airport Business Summit and Expo in Abuja, various speakers harped on the need for a sound government policies to raised the standard and quality of goods to be exported to avoid rejection by the outside world.

The Chief Operating Officer, Red Star Express, Mr. Mudiaga Okumagba, said if agro export is not taken seriously, Nigeria will have problems in exporting her produce, adding that,the county can earn $52b annually from the United Kingdom if the potential of the perishables cargo were harnessed noting that Nigerian products were rejected outside the shores.

He noted that there was high cost of freight for perishables as a result of the dwindling rate of the naira and poor storage facilities for perishables.

Okumagba suggested that designated locations at cargo shed for agro commodities should be established to encourage farmers to export their produce.

An Aviation Consultant, Tayo Ojuri, call for the review of government policies as the current one has not favored the movement of produce in the country adding that evacuation of finished products has become very difficult as a result of poor transportation system across the country.

According to Ojuri, Kebbi Airport was constructed for the movement of agricultural produce but lamented that the present administration in the state has neglected the original purpose of the construction of the airport.

Director consumer protection Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority,NCAA, Adamu Abdullah, blamed misplacement of priority as the greatest challenge in the cargo export business.

According to Abdullahi, the Bauchi airport was built from the scratch to take care of the cargo especially agro but regretted that the present administration in Bauchi has deviated from the original plan has been abandoned.

He identified lack of continuity as the major problem for the inability of Airport to grow.

In his welcome address, the convener ABSE, Fortune Idu, identified poor harvesting practice by farmers, poor market conditions, poor transportation, inappropriate government funding and insufficient infrastructure have remained great challenges in the export of perishables.

He noted that a lot of capital was needed to keep airports going especially as it involved transformation such as construction of new terminals, expansion and upgrade of runway in order to meet the pace of increasing air traffic demand.

Highlighting the importance of the program, he said, “it will enhance continuity improvement in the quality delivery and safe services, policies, programmes, plans among others”.

Idu said there was need to periodically interface through gatherings to ensure the sharing of wider information with a view of deliberating the future.

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