DOI of the published article https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tifs.2023.04.022
Bottlenecks in Nigeria's fresh food supply chain: What is the way forward?
Keywords:Sustainable Supply Chain, SDGs, smallholder farmer, food waste, food engineering
Nigeria is one of the leading producers of fresh produce, most of which is grown by smallholder farmers. Over 40% of this fresh produce is lost after harvest, resulting in more than 30% loss in smallholders’ income. We identify the major bottlenecks in Nigeria's fresh food supply chain responsible for the high food losses. We propose possible solutions to mitigate them. A key bottleneck is that most fresh food produced in the northern region is largely consumed in the south, with the produce traveling long distances through a poor road network. The lack of a continuous cold chain is another key causative factor for food loss. Less than 10% of the fresh food produced passes through a cold chain despite the long distances it needs to travel. There is also limited access to supply chain data and expert market intelligence to assist stakeholders in the decision-making process and process optimizations. To mitigate food losses, smallholder farmers and retailers need better access to clean cooling solutions at affordable prices, enabled for example, by the innovative Cooling as a Service business model (CaaS). This will help them extend produce shelf life and sell produce at attractive market prices by being able to cool their produce. Simple and small-scale passive cooling solutions may also help preserve food for these stakeholders, but are currently rarely used. Furthermore, the available open data needs to be made easily accessible to stakeholders along the fresh supply chain so they can make informed decisions on how best to reduce food losses and maximize profit. Smallholder farmers would also significantly benefit from easier access to expert intelligence on postharvest storage and market information. Providing such expertise via mobile apps can be a powerful tool for remote farmers in a country like Nigeria. Otherwise, it could be difficult to reach them. Nigerian governmental agencies can create the largest gains in the cold chain by implementing policies that support stakeholders financially and improve rural infrastructures such as roads and electricity.
Copyright (c) 2022 Daniel Onwude, Thomas Motmans, Kanaha Shoji, Roberta Evangelista, Joaquin Gajardo, Divinefavor Odion, Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu, Olubayo Adekanmbi, Soufiane Hourri, Thijs Defraeye
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.