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NEPC, Japan partner on packaging Nigeria’s agric produce for export

Indications are beginning to emerge that very soon, the European Community (EC) may lift the prevailing ban on the export of Nigerian beans and other agro products going by a new deal between the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) says it has partnered Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) .

This was disclosed by the Executive Director, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Olusegun Awolowo who said the new idea would among other things strive to improve the quality of packaging of Nigeria’s agricultural produce for export.

Explaining more during a capacity building programme for stakeholders in the sector on Monday in Lagos with theme; ‘Logistical Packaging Technology for Agricultural Products,’ he said the synergy would reduce post-harvest losses arising from poor packaging of the country’s agricultural produce.

While maintaining that there is no shortcut to producers of vegetables and perishable products to be competitive in the global market without quality packaging, Awolowo revealed that “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 borne out of the need to drastically reduce post-harvest losses among farmers, processors and exporters leading to revenue losses,” NEPC boss noted.

Earlier in his remarks, Commissioner of Trade at JETRO, Mr Taku Miyazaki, said the collaboration was essential to the development of the agriculture sector and actualisation of the diversification agenda of the country.

He revealed that there is huge potential in the country’s agriculture sector with Nigeria being number one producer of commodities like yam, cassava, groundnut and maize, stressing that “Nigeria is presently the biggest supplier of sesame to Japan for the purpose of producing edible oil”.

Other data he rolled out include that “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.