• Sunday, June 23, 2024
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German consular urges value addition to drive Nigeria’s agric export

German consular urges value addition to drive Nigeria’s agric export

Bernd von Munchow-Pohi, the consular general, Federal Republic of Germany have urged Nigeria to pay more attention to agro-processing to increase its export revenue while attaining agric sector trade balance.

Muchow-Pohi said this at the official opening of the 7th edition of the agrofood & plastprintpack trade show and conference held recently in Lagos in collaboration with the Organisation for Technology Advancement of Cold Chain in West Africa (OTACCWA)

“There is a wide agreement that Nigeria’s potential for agricultural commodities and food products sector remains greatly available but its percentage of total exports continues to hover around single digits,” he said.

“The trade balance of the sector as a whole remains negative. This will only change and become a net positive when Nigeria makes some bigger steps on the value chain by processing more quality food products that can compete and this will also help to cut imports,” he further said.

“This I believe is the only way forward,” he added.

He stated that the sector has the vast potential to drive a more sustainable growth in Africa’s most populous nation in terms of job creation and revenue diversification.

He noted that despite a growing numbers of Nigerian entrepreneurs have realized the huge potentials in the sector and are investing substantially in it and food production in more efficient processing, packaging machinery as well as storage and transportation capacities, many business opportunities are yet to be fully explored and many new partnerships are yet to be formed.

Read also: Lagos UBEC agricultural initiative boosts poultry production with 5 pens

Similarly, Alexander Isong, the president of OTACCWA, said “the partnership with Fairtrade is a synergy of purpose because preservation, transportation and storage go hand in hand with agrofood and packaging, especially in an environment like Nigeria with large post-harvest losses.

He said the country still has an alarming rate of post-harvest losses but with latest technology, the country has made progress with much more still needed to be done.

Speaking also at the opening, Paul Maerz, managing director of Fairtrade Messe said Nigeria spent a total of €390 million in 2020 on food and packaging technology.

He said the level of investment from the country is a result of its population growth which is driving the demand for food products and machinery.

Maerz stated that the conference helps in bringing in the latest food and packaging technology to Nigeria to enable quality production, drive industrailisation, aid food production, and create jobs as well as export of food products to neighboring countries.

“Nigeria is the largest importer of packaging technology in Africa, just ahead of Egypt well ahead of South Africa Nigeria, Morocco, Tanzania, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Ghana,” he said.

“The enormous population growth from 206 million in 2022 to 411 million in 2050 demands high sustainable investments in Nigeria’s agro food infrastructure,” he noted.

Speaking on the three-day conference, he said that the conference will bring Nigerian and European experts together to will discuss on current topics of concerns to professionals topics ranging from reuse, reuse, recycle, quality extenders to access to finance and many other topics covering the whole chain.