APM launches refrigerated truck transport

Cold chain solutions for Nigerian farmers

APM Terminals, in conjunction with Naija Pride and several international development groups, is working on cold chain transportation alternatives for farmers in the agricultural centres of northern Nigeria. The aim is to bring fresh produce intact and unspoiled to market centres in 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 infrastructure and high transportation costs. Investments by APM Terminals in cold chain transportation is demonstrating ways to reduce post-harvest losses and extend the shelf life of fresh produce.

According to a ajot.com article, 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. This is because they are packed traditionally in woven raffia baskets and are moved by truck.

But on December 1st, the first trial shipment of 18.6 metric tons of fresh tomatoes were loaded into a refrigerated container for the 1,045 km trip from Dutsen Wai to Lagos. In the controlled environment both heat spoilage and bruising damage from cargo shifting during transport were eliminated. The entire truckload arrived intact and was ready for sale.

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