GEMS4 takes campaign to Mile 12 market
As part of effort to curtail tomato losses in the country, Growth and Employment in States – Wholesale and Retail Trade (GEMS4), an economic development project jointly funded by the World Bank and DFID/UKAid, took good handling packaging campaign for perishable produce to Mile 12, Market, Lagos.
GEMS4 is focused on increasing incomes and employment opportunities in the wholesale and retail sector, by providing solutions to systemic constraints and the inclusion of small and micro enterprises into better functioning market systems.
According to statement by its media officer, Mr. Michael Adaji, the main goal is the creation of 10,000 new jobs and increased incomes for 500,000 people, especially for the poor and for women. Also utilising the Making Markets Work for the Poor (M4P) approach, “GEMS4 is working with market actors, linking them and changing market incentives so they serve each other better.”
It stated that the project is also building local capacity for the market to meets the long-term needs of the poor, noting that the constraint is that as Nigeria produces 1.5 million tons of tomatoes each year, over 40 per cent of annual produce is disposed off, due to depreciation and spoilage caused by several constraints, including poor produce handling and poor produce packaging.
“On the average, each 350 basket truckload (18 metric tonnes) loses 144 baskets, this often represents financial losses of about N902, 000 (£3,000) of the N2, 200,000 (£7,333) cost of the whole truckload.
“Over the years, the financial losses due to produce depreciation and spoilage have been borne by actors in the perishable produce value chain as an unavoidable hazard and incomes remain perennially low, despite a burgeoning population presenting significant commercial opportunities.