APM Terminals introduces cold chain solutions to save farm products
APM Terminals Inland Services, in collaboration with Naija Pride, have unveiled plans to provide modern cold chain transportation alternatives for farmers in the agricultural centres of northern Nigeria, to bring fresh produce intact, and transported to market centres in Lagos.
Industry statistics revealed that an estimated 15 million metric tonnes of Nigerian-grown perishable goods, including onions, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, okra, ginger, and carrots, are lost yearly, due to poor logistics, infrastructure and high transportation costs.
Ongoing investment by APM Terminals in cold chain transportation is demonstrating ways to reduce post-harvest losses, and extend the shelf life of fresh produce for local consumption and export.
The Managing Director, APM Terminals, Apapa, Martin Jacob, said: “New investment in cold chain infrastructure will clearly be an important growth driver for the Nigerian economy. We, along with our partners, aim to offer our landside customers both the service and expertise necessary to protect perishables for domestic markets and open new international market opportunities through Nigerian ports.
“As much as half of Nigeria’s domestic tomato crop of 1.8 million metric tonnes do not get to the market due to spoilage or damage during transportation while packed in traditional woven raffia baskets, and moved by conventional trucking. On December 1st, the first trial shipment of 18.6 metric tonnes of fresh tomatoes, packed into 933 crates each containing 20kg, were loaded into a refrigerated container for the 1,045 km (650 mile) trip from Dutse Wai, in Nigeria’s Kaduna State to Lagos. In the controlled reefer environment, heat spoilage as well as bruising damage from cargo shifting during transport was eliminated – and the entire truckload arrived intact, and ready for sale or further transport,” he explained.
APM Terminals partnered with Naija Pride for the tomato shipment, in cooperation with US-based, TechnoServe, an international non-profit that promotes business solutions in 29 countries.