The Nigerian Exportation Council (NEPC) announced at a capacity building program with shareholders in Lagos on Monday, that it has partnered with Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) to improve the quality of packaging of Nigeria’s agricultural produce for export.
With the theme of the program being “Logistical Packaging Technology for Agricultural Products” Mr Segun Awolowo the Executive Director of NEPC said that the synergy would reduce post-harvest losses arising from poor packaging of the country’s agricultural produce.
According to him, there is no shortcut to producers of vegetables and perishable products to be competitive in the global market without quality packaging.
“About 40 to 50 per cent of fresh fruits are lost as a result of poor packaging, handling and preservation.
“The capacity building programme will assist the average farmer and exporter to gain better insights into issues related to global standards on packaging for export.
“Our resolve to collaborate with Japan and other stakeholders is born out of the need to drastically reduce post-harvest losses among farmers, processors and exporters leading to revenue losses,” he said.
He added that packaging and standards were global issues that determine product development and sustainability of its market.
“Needless to point out that a good quality product without efficient packaging is as good as a bad product,” Awolowo said.
Mr Taku Miyazaki, Trade Commissioner, JETRO, said the collaboration was essential to the development of the agriculture sector and actualisation of the diversification agenda of the country.
According to Miyazaki, there is huge potential in the country’s agriculture sector with Nigeria being number one producer of commodities like yam, cassava, groundnut and maize.
“Nigeria is presently the biggest supplier of sesame to Japan for the purpose of producing edible oil.
“In 2016, Nigeria exported approximately 55,000 tonnes of sesame to Japan.
“JETRO wants to contribute and encourage exportation of Nigerian agricultural products to the world through provision of logistical packaging technology,” he said.
Miyazaki said that the partnership would promote investment, enhance export and boost the trade relations between Nigeria and Japan.