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Wastages in farm products on transit, markets highest in Nigeria—-Report

Nigeria has been described as the most African nation with record wastages on food products.

A report released by the Africa Environmental & Economic Peace Mission (AEEPM) weekend in Lagos said the wastages’ usually begin from harvest point to package, transport to towns and urban markets due to no provision of preservative and live keeping facilities by the government as it is in other parts of the world.

AEEPM said visits to major fruits foodstuff markets in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kano and Onitsha showed that farmers and or middlemen suffer most losses while offloading and sorting goods in these major markets because there is no cooling complex that can hold the life of the fruits and perishable items.

The report added that “A sizable volume of every fruit or food stuff brought to urban markets from a distant state or town always end up in waste bins around the markets”.

“What the dealers are left to do is to see how they can spread the cost of the losses on goods that were able to withstand the damage.

Barring his mind on the matter, Mr. Duro Kuteyi, food manufacturer at Betamark Consulting, argued that there was a lot of waste of fresh tomatoes, pepper, yam and many other agricultural products in Nigeria.

While linking the huge losses to post harvest losses and lack of processing techniques and facilities near the markets in cities, he decried that “in spite of being identified as the 14th largest producer of tomatoes, it is sad to note that Nigeria imports various processed tomato products for the consumption of its nationals”.

He said “The imported tomato products include, canned tomato paste, tomato ketchup and various sauces, canned tomato fruit, etc. Between 2015 and 2016, a total of 189,510.11 metric tons of tomato paste was imported into Nigeria.

Kuteyi revealed further that “This is equivalent to 1,042,305.68 metric tons of fresh tomatoes,” noting that “A lot of the tomatoes grown in Nigeria suffer post harvest losses incurred from transporting harvest from the farms in the northern part of the country where they are grown, to the southern markets where they are consumed”.

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