With billions of dollars lost to poor packaging of Agricultural Products in Africa, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and Japanese External Trade Organisation (JETRO) are working to reduce post-harvest losses arising from poor packaging of Nigerian agricultural produce.
Executive Director/CEO of NEPC, Olusegun Awolowo who disclosed this at a one-day capacity building programme tagged “Logistical Packaging Technology for Agricultural Products” noted in a statement made available that there was no shortcut for producers of vegetables and perishable products to have competitive advantage in the global market without quality packaging system.
He pointed out that about 40 – 50 percent of Nigeria fresh fruits and vegetables are lost as a result of poor packaging, handling and preservation adding that the capacity building programme will assist the average farmer and exporter to gain better insights into issues related to global standard on packaging for export.
Awolowo was quoted in the statement as stating that, “Our resolve to collaborate with JETRO and other stakeholders is borne out of the need to drastically reduce post-harvesting losses among farmers, processors and exporters leading to revenue losses and poor quality produce”,
This, Awolowo noted was in line with the ZERO Reject policy of Federal Government adding that packaging and standards were global issues that determine product development and sustainability in the market.
Consequently, he said stakeholders and participants at this event would realize that packaging for agricultural products is very important to all aspects of product development and marketing functions.
According to him, “Needless to point out that a good quality product without efficient packaging is as good as a bad product”.
Taku Miyazaki Trade Commissioner/MD JETRO Lagos said that “there are huge potentials in agricultural sector in Nigeria – with the country being Number One within the producing nations of commodities like yam, cassava, groundnut and maize”.
According to the Commissioner Nigeria is presently the biggest supplier of sesame to Japan for the purposes of producing edible oil.
In 2016 alone “Nigeria exported approximately 55, 000Metric Tonnes of sesame to Japan … therefore JETRO wants to contribute and encourage exportation of Nigerian agricultural products to the world through the provision of logistical packaging technology for its various products for export”.