L-R: Vice President/Chairman Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry Trade Promotion Board, Engr. Leke Kupoluyi; Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, Ravindra Singh Singhvi; Managing Director, fairtrade Messe, Paul Maerz; Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo (CON); President, Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NABG), Dr Emmanuel Ijewere and President, Organization for Technology Advancement of Cold Chain in West Africa (OTACCWA), Alex Isong, at the opening day of the 8th edition of Nigeria agrofood and plastprintpack international conference held at the Landmark Events Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Tuesday, March 28, 2023
Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment stated this in the keynote address delivered at the occasion of the 5th West African Cold Chain Summit and Exhibition (WACCSE 2023), organized by the Organization for Technology Advancement of Cold Chain in West Africa (OTACCWA) and partners.
Adebayo applauded both the organisers and participants, for your commitment to promote the development of cold chain value addition, which is strategic for the transformation of the Nigerian and African supply chain network.
The 5Th West African Cold Chain Summit and Exhibition (WACCSE2023) with the Theme “Delivering Food And Nutrition Security Through Cold Chain In Africa”, Tuesday March 28th, 2023 at the Landmark Centre, Lagos.
In his words: The objectives of this summit align with the mandate of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment for Nigeria to promote economic growth, create jobs and generate wealth.
“Agriculture is arguably the most important sector in the Nigerian economy, it is a source of raw materials for our Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, employing 60% of Nigerian’s workforce, including many rural women, and contributing almost 30% of the country’s GDP.
Therefore, any improvement in the agricultural commodity value chains, including addressing the reduction of post-harvest loss (PHL) of perishables, is fundamental and would have a positive impact on Nigeria and the larger African economy, Minister added.
Adebayo continue, given the global economic disparities, high market requirements in terms of quality standards, increasing competition, 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. According to him, you will agree with me that output from this cold chain submit and exhibition is auspicious for the wellbeing of Nigeria and African; with its goal of finding solution to Post Harvest Losses (PHL) in Nigeria and across sub-Saharan Africa, identified as one of the major problems facing our agricultural sector. Recent studies report PHL data as high as 60%, especially for food and vegetables; resulting in low income for the producers and high price points for the produce, he stated.
Furthermore, minister cited that value addition and optimal supply chain processes should be the strategic direction for sustainable returns in the Agro Value Chain.
Globally, he added that perishable commodities are made sustainable through efficient management of cold chains (CC), which plays a significant part in modern global perishable industries as it impacts on storage, transportation and distribution, related services and to ensure low cost.
“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.
FMITI Boss highlighted that if the wastage is properly managed, it could feed our growing population and address some of the issues raised by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) – 1 (End Poverty); 2 (Zero Hunger), he stated adding that the impact of climate change on agricultural produce, includes supply chain interruptions and higher temperatures, which have exacerbated the problem and worsened the postharvest losses.
“These can be resolved by instituting an efficient and sustainable cold chain infrastructure, coupled with an efficient supply chain network, of which the private and public sector both have their roles to play in this regard.
“Additionally, this summit is a great opportunity to explore the integral cold chain potential in optimizing the delivery of Pharmaceuticals and nutritional products by addressing the challenges faced, for adequate quality and safe health care delivery in Nigeria, and across Africa, in line with global best practice.
Minister pointed out that “To build a sustainable cold chain network in Nigeria and Africa, government is investing heavily to close the energy gap. Additionally, government is encouraging public-private partnerships, to find lasting solutions to cold chain challenges in Nigeria and African trade. This summit is a required catalyst for change, as a great opportunity to bring together critical stakeholders and professionals, showcase the latest capabilities of the global supply chain and allied industries, as well as proffer thought leadership for sustainable solutions provision. Government will continue to encourage innovative strategies in the main sub-sectors that constitute cold chains, in order to mitigate the several detrimental economic and environmental effects.”
Finally, Minister said, 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, he concluded.