By Steve Agbota
THE Managing Director of Trade Fair, Martin März, has revealed that food and beverage sector created over 1.5 million jobs in Nigeria.
März who disclosed this at the 2nd International Trade Show on Agrofood, Plastics and Packaging in Lagos yesterday, described the food and beverage sector as the largest segment of the Nigerian manufacturing industry, which employs 5 per cent of the Nigerian workforce.
Speaking on the importance of the event, he said the target of Agrofood and Plastprintpack Nigeria 2016 was to support the Nigerian agrofood industry to meet its challenges in terms of food hygiene, food safety, cost efficiency and in creating an ever greater diversity of food and beverage products.
He stated that the purpose of the agro trade fair is also to encourage locally made packaged foods and reduce imports of food products bill in Nigeria, as 86 technologies from 21 countries were brought into Nigeria for exhibition. He added that the event is also about exchange and cooperation between Nigerian agrofood producers and international technology suppliers.
According to him, information made available by VDMA, the German Engineering Federation, Nigerian imports of food processing and packaging machinery between 2010 and 2014, have increased from €198 million to €381 million, an increase of 92 per cent within just four years.
He said during the same period, imports of packaging machinery and equipment have gone up from €85 million to €201 million, a plus of 136 per cent, saying that imports of plastics machinery grew by 61 per cent from €54 million to €87 million.