By Modupe Gbadeyanka If there is one issue farmers in Nigeria face in the export business, it is the rejection of their commodities in Europe and the United States of America (USA). But this may soon become a thing of the past as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is working with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to address the issue. To start with, the apex regulator in the nation\u2019s capital market is pushing for the speedy approval and publication of standards relevant to the commodities trading ecosystem. On Wednesday, the Director-General of SEC, Mr Lamido Yuguda, was at the office of SON in Abuja to deliberate on how to address the issue, which is denying the country foreign earnings, especially at a time the price of crude oil is not encouraging. During his discussion with the DG of SON, Mr Farouk Salim, the SEC chief noted that it is globally recognised that a unique feature of a commodities exchange is the standardisation of the commodities traded on its platform. \u00a0\u201cHowever, the determination of these grades and standards is dependent upon approved local standards which should take into cognisance internationally accepted standards. Imbibing international standards for export commodities cannot be compromised if the exchanges have to play a pivotal role in export promotion,\u201d he stated. \u201cStandards provide consumers with an assurance of fitness of purpose, processors with commodities specifications, and serves as a reference point against which features of commodities can be compared. \u201cOther benefits include an increase in value to smallholder farmers due to the premium paid on high-quality commodities, reduction of post-harvest losses due to standard post-harvest handling, packaging and storage, as well as increased employment opportunities through the setup of warehouses and assaying companies to provide quality assurance services. \u201cMore benefits include global acceptance of commodities produced in Nigeria for export leading to increased foreign earnings, increase in the number of processing plants in Nigeria due to better quality of raw materials and overall development of the Nigerian economy,\u201d he highlighted. In his remarks, Mr Salim assured that his agency will work with the SEC to ensure that the country is able to export commodities of high standards and attract much needed foreign exchange. \u201cWe are committed to helping our people especially the farmers and support them to attain food sufficiency. If there is standardisation, the banks will be willing to finance the farmers and the commodities can be exported for the much needed foreign exchange to boost our economy. \u201cWe need to restore our pride as a nation, if our amenities are up to standard, we will not import many of the things we currently import and thereby boost our economy. Our farmers will be happy to produce because they know they will earn a good income from what they do,\u201d he said.