Adebayo: FG Promoting Public-Private Investments in Cold Chain Sector to Reduce Post-Harvest Losses

•Marz: At €346m in 2021, Nigeria is largest investor in food, packaging technology in Africa

Dike Onwuamaeze

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Niyi Adebayo, has announced that the federal government has been encouraging public-private partnership and investments that would provide lasting solutions to cold chain challenges in Nigeria in order to reduce post-harvest losses of food and vegetables. 

Adebayo made this known yesterday in Lagos, when he delivered the keynote address at the 5th West African Cold Chain Summit and Exhibition (WACCSE 2023), that was organised by the Organisation for Technology Advancement of Cold Chain in West Africa (OTACCWA) and partners.

The WACCSE was held in conjunction with Nigeria’s 8th International Trade Exhibition on Agrofood, Plastics, Printing and Packaging Nigeria 2023 that would run between March 28 and March 30.

He stated that government was investing heavily to close the energy gap in order to build a sustainable cold chain network in Nigeria and Africa.

The minister said: “Additionally, government is encouraging public-private partnerships, to find lasting solutions to cold chain challenges in Nigeria and African trade. This summit is a required catalyst for change, as a great opportunity to bring together critical stakeholders and professionals, showcase the latest capabilities of the global supply chain and allied industries, as well as proffer thought leadership for sustainable solutions provision.

“Government will continue to encourage innovative strategies in the main sub-sectors that constitute cold chains, in order to mitigate the several detrimental economic and environmental effects.

“We encourage stakeholders to invest in the cold chain sector, which can be highly profitable and reap from the economic benefits which abound.

“We are optimistic that if the public and the private sectors work together to uplift the cold chain industries to international standards, it would assist in the diversification of the Nigeria economy, improve job and wealth creation, enhance infrastructural development and technological innovations in the overall interest of the Nigerian and African economy.”

Adebayo said post-harvest losses had been identified as one of the major problems facing the agricultural sector in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan African.

He said: “You will agree with me that output from this cold chain submit and exhibition is auspicious for the wellbeing of Nigeria and African; with its goal of finding solution to post harvest losses (PHL) in Nigeria and across sub-Saharan Africa,

“Recent studies report PHL data as high as 60 per cent, especially for food and vegetables; resulting in low income for the producers and high price points for the produce. 

“Globally, perishable commodities are made sustainable through efficient management of cold chains (CC), which plays a significant part in modern global perishable industries as it impacts on storage, transportation and distribution, related services and to ensure low cost.”

The President of OTACCWA, Mr. Alexander Isong, said his organisation has been able to make strides in focusing the government and the country on the need to develop the cold chain industry, which would have domino and multiplier effect on the economy.

Isong said: “Cold chain has the characteristics to grow the economy and all the developed and thriving economies of the world have gotten cold chain right.”

Delivering the welcome address at the opening event of Nigeria’s 8th International Trade Exhibition on Agrofood, Plastics, Printing and Packaging Nigeria 2023, the Managing Director of Fairtrade Messe, Mr. Paul Maerz, said that global technology leaders from 17 countries were assembled in Nigeria to showcase adapted technologies and solutions for the Nigerian and West African market in the fields of agriculture, food, beverage processing, ingredients, plastics, printing and packaging.

Maerz said these exhibitors came from Austria, Bulgaria, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Germany, France, India, Italy, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Nigeria, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Türkiye, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and the USA.

He said for the first time the MFI Awards would be hosted alongside Agrofood and Plastprintpack and WACCSE 2023.

According to him, the MFI Awards Ceremony was co-sponsored by the MFI Micronutrient Fortification Index and powered by TechnoServe via a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sponsored initiative, the Technical Assistance Accelerator Program.

He said: “To highlight the importance of the Nigerian market, I would like to mention some figures: with €346 million in 2021, Nigeria is the largest investor in food and packaging technology in Africa, ahead of Egypt, South Africa, Algeria, Morocco and all other African countries.

“With €165 million in 2021, Nigeria is the second largest importer of plastics technology in Sub-Sahara Africa, just behind Egpyt (€202m) and well ahead of South Africa. While Nigeria’s plastics technology import increased averagely by 25 per cent per year between 2016 and 2020.

“At €50 million in 2020, Nigeria ranks second in sub-Saharan Africa for imports of printing and paper technology, behind Egypt, but well ahead of other African countries.

“With €151 million in 2021, Nigeria is among the three largest investors in packaging technology in Africa, in line with South Africa and behind Egypt, ahead of Algeria, Morocco, Tanzania, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Ghana and Kenya.

“The enormous population growth from 206 million in 2022 to 411 million in 2050 demands high sustainable investments in Nigeria’s agrofood and plastprintpack industry.

“The figures underline the importance of the Nigeria agrofood & plastprintpack market.”

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