A recent report has indicated that Nigeria loses about N3.6 trillion to poor export opportunities and lack of storage facilities at the airports.
The report stated that if the opportunity to export farm produce to meet international demand is fully exploited by Nigeria, it would create thousands of direct and indirect jobs.
But the sub-sector had been under exploited due to low operational and investment opportunities.
Owing to this, farm produce that are in high demand in Europe and other parts of the world are allowed to perish due to non -existing storage or preservation system.
The report which was obtained from a recent workshop on Agro Air Logistics held in Abuja under the Airport Business Summit and Expo 2018, said there is operational and investment gap between the Agro Perishable industry and the aviation sector.
The gap, the report indicated included distance of production site to the market, high prices of perishable goods coming from loss along the supply chain, insecurity hindering sustained production and evacuation, multiple levies, poor transportation, poor logistics infrastructure, power, relatively crude local market, poor access to international the market, lack of comprehensive agro air logistics policy, clustering and touting at the freight corridor, de-marketing of Nigeria and lack of professional manpower placements.
The report noted that other challenges included low government support to private investors, discontinued previous air cargo projects by Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and non-expansion of the air cargo apron of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) project currently abandoned.
If these challenges are resolved, the report stated that, there would be more new jobs, enhanced airport revenue, reduction in cost of perishables, healthy food to mitigate food security, increased revenue for airlines, support to government plan for ranching, creation of investment opportunities into special cargo services and promotion of investments into cold chain logistics.
Recommending some ways to close the gap, the report stated that there is need for stronger government policy on agro perishable air logistics and that there should be an establishment of a perishable goods unit in all airports to enable all airports capacity provide support for warehousing, handling and transportation of the perishable cargo through the country and beyond.