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APMT acquires reefer trucks to preserve agric produce



APMT acquires reefer trucks to preserve agric produce

APM Terminals Inland Services has acquired some refrigerated trucks to reduce spoilage of about 15 million tons of Nigerian perishable goods coming to Lagos for domestic consumption and export.

The company said that the move was to reduce post-harvest losses and extend the shelf life of fresh produce to local consumption and export.

The terminal operator listed the perishable goods as including onions, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, okra, ginger and carrots.

It noted that the tonnage of goods was lost annually due to poor logistics infrastructure and high transportation costs through spoilage and product damage.

The companies and Naija Pride with the assistance of international development groups are working to provide modern cold chain transportation alternatives for farmers in the agricultural centers of northern Nigeria to bring fresh produce to market centers in Lagos.

According to the Managing Director of APMT, Martin Jacob, the new investment in cold chain infrastructure will clearly be an important growth driver for the Nigerian economy.

He noted that the service and expertise would also open new international market opportunities through Nigerian ports.

He said: “As much as half of Nigeria’s domestic tomato crop of 1.8 million metric tons does not get to market due to spoilage or damage during transportation while packed in traditional woven raffia baskets and moved by conventional trucking.

“On December 1, the first trial shipments of 18.6 metric tons of fresh tomatoes, packed into 933 crates each containing 20 kilogrames, were loaded into a refrigerated container for the 1,045 kilometres (650 mile) trip from Dutsen Wai, in Nigeria’s Kaduna State to Lagos.”

Jacobs said that 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.

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