Abuja - The European Union on Wednesday pledged its support for the nation’s emerging food manufacturing and agro-business industry towards meeting international standards.
The pledge is contained in a statement issued by Dominik Rzepka, Public Relations Manager, Fairtrade Messe, the organisers of Agrofood and Plastprintpack Fair, held in Lagos.
The EU Ambassador / Head of Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr Michel Arrion, was quoted as saying that union would assist Nigeria in the area of machinery, equipment and technological know-how.
He said that European suppliers could play an important role in providing the Nigerian food manufacturing and agro-business industry with machinery, equipment and technological know-how.
Arrion said the synergy would aid Nigeria to meet a high degree of food safety and compliance with international hygienic standards.
Arrion said, “The food and beverage sector represents a very large segment of the Nigerian manufacturing industry.
“The sector generates over 1.5 million jobs in the country, and thus employs five per cent of the Nigerian workforce.
“Moreover, with a market of over 160 million consumers and a constantly growing population, Nigeria has an increasing demand for packaged and ready-made food products,” he said.
Also speaking, Yetunde Adejumo, Lagos State Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that packaging remains vital in the emerging Nigerian food industry.
“We encourage the Nigerian producers to deepen the processing of foodstuffs in order to generate better value.
“That is what the outgoing administration has achieved. We now need more of packaging.”
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Michael Kloss, Managing Director, KHS Machines Nigeria, an exhibitor, said, “For KHS, Nigeria represents a huge market.
“The Nigerian plastic sub-sector is expected to grow by seven percent over the next ten years. This positive outlook mirrors the satisfaction rates of the exhibitors in this branch.
“The Nigerian market is moving towards quality products, and as our company is Japanese, quality is our first priority.”
Meanwhile, the organisers of the fair said that 91 exhibitors from 26 countries, with 1,349 registered visitors, attended the fair.