The terminal operator has partnered with international development organizations to assist Nigerian farmers in transporting perishable goods to the market hub of Lagos.
APM Terminals aims to assist farmers transport goods from inland Nigeria to the coast.
APM Terminals (APMT) is working with international development groups to provide modern cold chain transportation solutions for farmers in northern Nigeria to bring produce to the market hub of Lagos.
An estimated 15 million metric tons of Nigerian-grown perishable goods – including onions, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, okra, ginger and carrots – are lost annually due to poor logistics infrastructure and high transportation costs, the terminal operator said.
APMT is investing in cold chain transportation and assisting farmers in learning more about post-harvest shelf life for exportation and sales.
“New investment in cold chain infrastructure will clearly be an important growth driver for the Nigerian economy,” APMT Apapa Managing Director Martin Jacob said. “We, along with our partners, aim to offer our landside customers both the service and expertise necessary to protect perishables for domestic markets and open new international market opportunities through Nigerian ports.”
The first trial was conducted on Dec. 1, with 18.6 metric tons of fresh tomatoes packed into 933 crates and loaded into a refrigerated container for the 650-mile trip from Dutsen Wai, in Nigeria’s Kaduna State, to Lagos.
“In the controlled reefer environment, heat spoilage, as well as bruising damage from cargo shifting during transport was eliminated – and the entire truckload arrived intact and ready for sale or further transport,” the terminal operator said.
APMT partnered with Naija Pride for the tomato shipment, in cooperation with U.S.-based TechnoServe, an international non-profit that promotes business solutions in 29 countries.
Naija Pride is owned by Emmanuel Ijewere, the vice Chairman of the Nigerian Agribusiness Group (NABG).
The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID)-funded Growth and Employment in States (GEMS4) program, and the U.S.-based Rockefeller Foundation-funded Yieldwise project were also on-site in Dutsen Wai as observers, providing advice on cold chain supply opportunities that benefit the Nigerian agricultural industry and end-user customers.