(Ecofin Agency) - Food wastage caused by improper food storage costs Nigeria about N3.7 trillion (About $9 billion) yearly. The figure was recently disclosed by John Onojeharho, chairman of the governing council of the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT). This was at the 8th Nigeria Annual Transport Lecture held in Lagos on the topic “Cold Chain Logistics”.
“Nigeria is ranked 1 percent in terms of cold chain management. The market is huge and if properly tapped, we can save $9 billion annually by avoiding food wastage through proper storage,” said Mr. John Onojeharho.
One of the key reasons for massive waste is the lack of a temperature-controlled supply chain to prevent fresh foods from spoiling during transportation from the farms to the end-users. For example, it is estimated that more than 40% of tomato production does not reach consumers.
Efficient logistics is crucial for any country’s economic growth. In the case of Nigeria, NITT’s chairman added that its cold chain logistics issues are overall attributed to poor road infrastructure, continuity of the cold supply chain, high capital investment, power supply.
More than 12% of Nigerians suffer from undernourishment. Yet every year, the country loses and wastes 40% of its total food production. As indicated on the Global Food Security Index two years ago, food security will worsen looking at the country’s fast-growing population that is expected to reach about 400 million by 2050.