Magnus Eze, Enugu
The European Union (EU), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and French Development Agency (AFD), are partnering to scale up mango production in Nigeria.
To get the benefit of this partnership a workshop for quarantine officers and mango producers nationwide on control of fruit flies held yesterday in Enugu state.
Director of Research, Insect Ecology, National Horticultural Research Institute, Ibadan, Oyo state, Dr Vincent Umeh, said that mango export from West Africa was not more than 8 per cent, stressing the need to boost the trade.
President of National Association of Mango Producers, Processors and Marketers of Nigeria (NAMPPMAN), Abudulkadir Nasir, told Daily Sun at the event that his Association was already working on how to stop wastage of mango fruits to make it a competitive export produce.
He disclosed that talks were on for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to institute anchor borrowers’ scheme for mango, stressing it would not only be a major export earner, but also job and wealth creator for the nation.
Nasir, who regretted that Nigeria loses over 700,000 out of 900,000 annual tons of mangos produced, said that the Association has embarked on sensitisation of mango farmers on how it would control and eliminate flies that attack the fruits and render them inedible and unfit for exports.
He stated that the essence of the workshop was to sensitise farmers and quarantine agents on what to look out for during the phyto-sanitary inspection of mangoes so that the fruits can meet regulations of the European Union.
“Fruit flies are harmful to fruits. They feed on fruits to survive but it is detrimental to the production of mangoes and it is the cause of 60 per cent mango losses by farmers in Nigeria,” he stated.