Hibiscus flower, popularly used to prepare Zobo drink in Nigeria, are to be continuously exported to Mexico by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS).
Dr Vincent Isegbe, the Coordinating Director, NAQS, said on Tuesday in Abuja that in 2017, Nigeria exported 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone and earned $35 million within nine months of that year.
He added that NAQS had initially suspended the export following the detection of storage pest in some consignments from Nigeria.
”The issue has now been taken care of. That is why we are resuming the export of the plant again.”
He noted that the issue was resolved in collaboration with stakeholders across the value chain, adding that Mexico is the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus.
“Nigeria is ready to resume export of the plant to Mexico. In a couple of weeks, we will resume shipments.
”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 has a vast growing belt, with harvest available all year round.
“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to earn foreign exchange for the country and support the present administration’s diversification of the economy,” he said.
Isegbe, however, called on farmers to show more commitment to growing the plant in order to increase their income.