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Fairtrade mulls strategy to solve post-harvest losses

By Opeyemi Babalola
24 October 2021   |   3:15 am
Towards making Nigeria less dependent in food importation, Fairtrade has declared its readiness to address the lacuna in the country’s agric system, by exposing farmers to new ways of preserving their produce.

Towards making Nigeria less dependent in food importation, Fairtrade has declared its readiness to address the lacuna in the country’s agric system, by exposing farmers to new ways of preserving their produce.

At a press conference at the weekend, to announce its Agrofood and Plastprintpack exhibition, scheduled for Tuesday, October 26 to Thursday, October 28, 2021, at the Landmark Centre, Victoria Island Annex, Lagos, the organisers said the conference would reduce the country’s reliance on imported food.

The exhibition is an initiative supported by the Africa Packaging Organisation (APO) and Organisation for Technology Advancement of Cold Chain in West Africa (OTTACCWA), to deliver the message to average farmers where they would be exposed to ways of handling different and latest machines that would enhance high-quality production of farm produce.

Fairtrade Managing Director, Paul März, said the conference is tailored towards addressing the lacuna in Nigeria’s agricultural system where many expectations are placed on outside countries to achieve food sufficiency.

“The objective is to bring to the notice of participants latest technology and best machines from all over the world for agrofood and plastprintpack industry through Nigeria in order to enhance high-quality production in the country.

The President of OTTACCWA, Alexander Isong, said the partnership with Fairtrade was a synergy of purpose because packaging an agrofood without preservation, transportation and storage wont work, especially in an environment like Nigeria where there are problems with post-harvest losses.

“Nigerian government speaks a lot about cold chain and they are seeking to solve the post-harvest losses. We have a problem with exporting perishable foods from Nigeria like ginger, garlic, avocado, banana and things like that. Most of these perishable foods cannot go into another country because Nigeria doesn’t meet the gap…”

He decried low involvement of Nigeria in the cold chain industry, adding that cold chain is an integral part of any economy. 

Isong announced that a host of business personalities and industry would be attending the special event. “We will be having government officials, NAFDAC, SON, National Quarantine Agency, and others,” he said.
 
In his remarks, President Africa Packaging Organisation (APO), Ahmed Omah, stated that this year’s exhibition would focus on the packaging aspect. 

He said this packaging master class would deliver an executive master’s certificate in packaging materials and food packaging technology.