Expert decries lack of conditioning centres for agric produce at airports

Chief Executive Officer/ Programme Director of Multimix Export Academy, Obiora Madu, has expressed disappointment that none of the nation’s international airports has a conditioning centre necessary for the preservation of exportable agricultural produce.
Madu, during an exclusive chat with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, said that this deficiency results in the massive waste of perishable goods noting that “you cannot do successful export of fruits and vegetable without a conditioning centre.”
He decried government’s lack of political will to articulate and implement export policies necessary for reducing the high level of unemployment presently facing the country.
“Let’s take the cassava policy of the federal government during Obasanjo regime. If that policy worked, one to two million people will be out of the streets doing something. You know that the peeling of cassava cannot be done by machine because if it does it will lose a lot of meat so it has to be done manually and of course it means that it is people mainly women and also the youths could have been the ones doing it but of course we lost that,” he lamented.
Madu urged the government to refocus its attention on the cassava export policy which he said will contribute significantly to the growth of the nation’s economy.
“When you are looking at products that will contribute to GDP and increase employment, you start looking at how long their value chain is and cassava provides that. In cassava export, what we have are mega exporters who export ship loads. Then you have the traders who buy, process and then supply those mega exporters and then of course you have the farmers. That is the chain,” Madu explained.
He also mentioned shea and cashew nuts as agricultural products that could prove very viable for Nigeria’s export trade.
He said that the government can give the nation’s agricultural sector the boost it needs if it constructively engages Nigerian youths for their innovative ideas with reference to the Information Computer Technology (ICT) proficient ones that could be recruited as import-export agents.