- 50% of Fruits, Vegetables Get Damaged Daily
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council has stated that 50 per cent of fruits and vegetables harvested in Nigeria get damaged on a daily basis.
The council said that in addition to post harvest losses, the country also suffered a huge revenue loss from poor packaging of agricultural produce meant for export.
The Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, NEPC, Mr. OlusegunAwolowo, stated this at a one-day capacity building programme held in collaboration with the Japanese External Trade Organisation.
The workshop tagged “Logistical Packaging Technology for Agricultural Products,” according to Awolowo, was aimed at reducing post-harvest losses arising from poor packaging of agricultural produce.
He said there was no way producers of vegetables and perishable crops could have competitive advantage in the global market without quality packaging system.
He said, “About 50 per cent of Nigeria’s fresh fruits and vegetables are daily damaged as a result of poor packaging, handling and preservation. This capacity building programme will assist the average farmer and exporter to gain better insights into issues relating to global standard on packaging for export.
“Our resolve to collaborate with JETRO and other stakeholders is born out of the need to drastically reduce post-harvest losses among farmers, processors and exporters leading to revenue losses and poor quality produce.
“Needless to point out that a good quality product without efficient packaging is as good as a bad product.”
Meanwhile, Nigeria is said to be the biggest exporter of sesame seed to Japan.
The Managing Director of JETRO, Mr. Taku Miyazaki, who also spoke during the workshop, said that in 2016 alone, Nigeria exported approximately 55,000 metric tonnes, (about N9.35bn worth) of sesame to Japan, adding that there was huge potential in Nigeria’s agricultural sector with the country being number one producer of commodities such as yam, cassava, groundnut and maize.
The workshop featured a presentation by a specialist in logistical packaging technology from Japan, Mr. Akira Shirakura, and was witnessed by representatives from Johnson and Johnson, Sterling Bank Plc and stakeholders from the agricultural sector.