• Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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Nigeria invests €346m in food, packaging tech in 2021

Nigeria invests €346m in food, packaging tech in 2021

For the first time in 2021, Nigeria became the largest investor in food and packaging technology in Africa with an investment of €346 million, ahead of Egypt’s €341 million and South Africa’s €293 million, according to data from the Germany Machinery Association.

Africa’s biggest economy has seen its food production increase in recent years owing to the government’s renewed focus on agriculture, but not at the same pace as its population.

According to experts, for Nigeria to leapfrog to the fourth industrial revolution in agriculture and ensure it feeds its rapidly growing population, there must be a proliferation of new technologies across the value chain to drive production and reduce food loss and waste.

It is to this end that Fairtrade Messe, an organiser of professional agrofood & plastprintpack trade fairs for Africa & the Middle East, will be hosting its 8th International Trade Show in Nigeria.

With a new local partner for its 2023 edition, Fairtrade hopes to create value and opportunity for business among Nigerian players come the 28th-30th of March, at the Landmark Centre, Lagos.

“With exhibitions come time efficiency; you can meet the amount of people it usually takes you one/two weeks to meet, in one or two days,” Freyja Detjen, senior project manager, Fairtrade Messe, said at a recent press briefing.

Detjen said the objective of the conference is to bring the latest 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.

“The ecosystem/environment to bring everybody together is available; and the companies, exhibitors are all here to support the Nigerian production.”

“The technology they’re bringing will allow to have production here, to create jobs here, to create professionalism in Nigeria,” she said.

With the advantage of a robust research network that helps the organisation and its institutional partners to make informed decisions about the local markets they operate in, Detjen has said that there are a number of things the Nigerian market can improve on.

She noted that since the markets they are active in are especially emerging markets, there are of course, a lot of things to learn.

“There is need to improve local education, letting people know & understand how the technologies work. Through this education, technology can be used, and local production created,” the senior project manager said.

“Though I must say the country is ready to learn,” she added.

Ahmed Alex Omah, president of the Africa Packaging Organisation also spoke along these lines when he responded to why Nigerian companies are scarcely found at the exhibitions.

“We don’t have the technology, the terms ‘printing’ and ‘packaging’ remain strange to us, and we don’t have any schools dedicated to packaging.

“You can only exhibit what you have, never what you don’t have,” he said.

Yusuf Sani, assistant director of NAFDAC told BusinessDay at the conference that the NAFDAC partners the initiative by ensuring Good Manufacturing Practices.

“With the right equipment comes less contamination of your product,” Sani said.

He added that the agency has a role to play in telling the people its guidelines for setting up manufacturing outfits.

Speaking about the upcoming conference, Detjen said global technology leaders from 12 countries will showcase the latest technologies and solutions for the Nigerian and West African Markets on agriculture, food and beverage processing, plastics, and packaging.

“It’s about the Nigerian economy, the Nigerian production, and creating solutions. Also, Nigerians can have a good coaching on-site. It’s about Nigeria.”