Nigeria’s leading transportation and logistics organization, Red Star Logistics Company a subsidiary of Red Star Express Plc, in partnership with Fedex Express International has announced its plan to introduce less than truckload for agriculture produces.
Speaking at an Nigerian Association of Agriculture Journalist’s forum in Lagos last week, the company Divisional Managing Director, Ocholi Etu, revealed the less than truckload for agriculture produce is to support the young entrepreneurs in the country who would transport their goods from one state to another through the organisation.
According to him, they want to take their effective and efficiency service to the sector meaning that they would have consolidated centers in the major agriculture producing states, so that young agriculture entrepreneurs can have their produces brought to RedStar Logistics agro centers.
“You don’t need to have a full load of truck of agriculture produces to move your goods to your customers in any part of the country. If it is weigh you pay whatever that was ascribed fees to you and that goods will be brought to their targeted market like Mile 12 in Lagos and other agro cities market.
The ones we can deliver to shop of their customers would be delivered in good condition and safe.
“We are starting in Kano State because is a major hub of agriculture produces for now , you don’t need to have full of truck load of produce before transporting your goods to anywhere in the country . With Red Star Logistics, even as little as one bags you can approach the company and we consolidate together with others as we are partnering with agriculture sector stakeholders, “he explained.
The former Regional Manager Lagos & West of MDS Logistics said that they have done successful job with less than 12 different pharmaceutical companies in the country and other sectors but agriculture is area they are trying to render their quality service.
Etu noted that agriculture is one of the resilience sectors the economy in this recession period and reports in each quarter recorded that the sector is still leading in boost the economy.
“Agriculture is the largest employee of labour and up today the sector still holds that position, in fact recently survey by World Bank emphasized that agriculture is still the largest income generated activities in Nigeria.
According to Red Star Logistics boss, ” It stated that sales is not completed until consumption is taking place meaning that if you are producing the right produce, right quality and you fail to get your logistics right, what is going to happen is that you will have wastage. If the gap the logistic want to fill all over the world in Nigeria is much challenging because the infrastructure that we use to deliver goods to consumers are quite challenge.
“What do I mean by infrastructure the roads because the palm produces we need to move from the station of production to consumption station and along the way we need to have warehouse that has temperature control, vehicle that are temperature control to get the produces as fresh as it is supposed to be. Now we lack all these things and majority what is produce don’t get to the consumers. We are looking at what we called self-effort, as we don’t have infrastructure, we don’t have the rail system because outside the countries when they are getting it right, they have cheap vehicles for transportation which we don’t have.
“We all know that the northern region of the country is gifted mass fertile land and most of the agriculture activities are from the region and we have the southern region axis that consumed much of the produces, which produces find its way from the north to south. I can tell you what comes down from the producing region to the consuming region is not up to 50 percent what supposed to come down to the southern region for various reasons .
“At logistics what we do is how to cover the agriculture sector, is efficiency to get out of the situation we are now, and means that we can actually get maximum of supposed agriculture produces from the producers to the target consumers and to get out from the situation. While agriculture produces from the North region is costly in the South region goes down on the issue of logistics. How would you get to the cities in the south without much or no damage and you will be surprised that a truck leaves a place like a kastina state to Lagos State
“What got to the south cities is not 50 percent of what was supposed to come to the place for oblivious reasons you will be surprised that truck that takes off from a place like Kastina State to Lagos will take a week, bad roads, multiple taxation on the road and many issues. When it gets to the supposed may be 1/10 of good will only is on good condition and the traders would high jerk up the prices of the produce to make again and be in business, while the end consumers will hear the change. You don’t get it as fresh as you want and you are paying high price on the produce.
“So logistic played a major role and for us to move the sector forward everybody hands should be on desk included the logistics organization. Efficiency will help to broke the cost because if we get it right , getting the right vehicle, we would cut down the time, I did mentioned of something which I called temperature control storage , this Is not much in Nigeria and the pharmaceutical we are trying to get it.
He urged Federal government to provide a kind of incentives by making available land where the private sector can build temperature control storage warehouses across the country and creating enabling environment so that overhead cost would be reduce and at the end it would benefit the general public.
Etu noted that when the issue of the Ebola tomatoes came and it resulted tomatoes scarcity in the country, because lack of storage facilitate in the country while commended some state government who has taken the bow by the horn in coming up with tonnes of rice meaning that very soon, locally produced rice will much available for Nigeria consumers.
He further noted as a company, “We are moving to that direction like in cocoa bean we hauling cocoa bean from anywhere in the country to the ports for exportation. We have some companies we are doing the business with”.
According to Red Star Logistics boss said that to have a full load of cocoa bean in Nigeria, you need to have special security arrangement because it seen to be the new gold in the world now and other cash crops in the country.