By Elizabeth Adegbesan
The Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Adeniyi Adebayo, has said that stakeholders’ intensive investment in the cold chain sector would assist in the diversification of the nation’s economy.
Speaking at the 8th International Agrofood and Plastic Printing and Packaging Exhibition and Conference organized by Fair Trade Messe in Lagos, Adebayo stated: “We encourage stakeholders to invest in the cold chain sector, which can be highly profitable and reap from the economic benefits which abound.
“We are optimistic that if the public and the private sectors work together to uplift the cold chain industries to international standards, it would assist in the diversification of the Nigeria economy, improve job and wealth creation, enhance infrastructural development and technological innovations in the overall interest of the Nigerian and African economy.
“Given the global economic disparities, high market requirements in terms of quality standards, increasing competition, and constantly changing customer demand, it is paramount for Nigeria to have a robust and innovative strategy for addressing cold chain bottlenecks and to remain globally competitive.”
He explained that inadequate cold chain infrastructure among other things contributed to postharvest wastages of agricultural produce.
He added, “As at today there is inadequate cold chain infrastructure in Nigeria and this huge gap and the inefficient supply chain infrastructure within the agricultural sector, particularly in the rural areas where majority of farmers are located, have contributed to the farm gate to consumer postharvest wastages of agricultural produce that we have been experiencing over the years’’.
In his welcome speech, the Managing Director, Fair Trade Messe, Paul Maerz, said that global technology leaders from 17 countries showcased adapted technologies and solutions for the Nigerian and West African market in the fields of agriculture, food + beverage processing, ingredients, plastics, printing and packaging in the exhibition.