The Coordinating Director of the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), Dr. Vincent Isegbe, says Nigeria will soon resume the exportation of hibiscus to Mexico.
Isegbe, in a statement signed by the agency’s Head, Media, Communications and Strategy, Dr. C. P. Nwodo, disclosed this when the Mexican Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Marco Antonio Garcia Blanco, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.
He explained that bottlenecks militating against the export of hibiscus (Trogoderma granarium) had been resolved in collaboration with stakeholders across the agricultural value chain, thereby paving the way for the country to restart trade with the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus.
Isegbe explained that the NAQS took the proactive step to suspend hibiscus export to Mexico following the detection of the storage pest in some hibiscus consignments from Nigeria.
He explained: In a couple of weeks, we will resume shipments to Mexico. Our farmers are eager and the fields are near ready. The harvest season of hibiscus will start any moment from now. And the good news is that Nigeria boasts a vast growing belt, with harvest lasting up to five months.’’
Ambassador Blanco commended the NAQS boss for his passion to improve Nigerian trade with Mexico.
The envoy disclosed that with the ever-improving partnership between NAQS and the Mexican embassy in Nigeria, his country would actively consider expanding their import list to include cashew, sesame, soya bean, coffee and honey.
Hibiscus is a very promising cash crop. In 2017, Nigeria exported 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone, earning $35 million within a space of nine months.
Mexico and other countries use hibiscus as organic colouring agents and wines. Dried hibiscus also serves as a delicacy while the roselle is consumed as a vegetable.