Nigeria will get its first cold weather storage facility – a solar-powered cold bank – in its capital, Abuja, in a project funded by a US and British science agency.
Built by the British Development International agency (BVI) and US$7m (£4.7m) in grants, it will retain a substantial amount of food that does not have to be destroyed while waiting for transport to a central storage unit – a facility installed last year which has helped limit losses of most foods stored for a month or more at a time.
Nigeria was one of the last big food importing countries, and while it has been picking up a bargain with the Chinese, with which it is courting to reduce its reliance on imports, almost half of the country’s food production is wasted on the way to the market.
The cold environment, though, which stores food once it has been identified, will allow the UK to invest in specific areas at the national level.
For example, one of BVI’s objectives was to help the federal ministry of agriculture manage waste that gets sent to landfill sites, and the opening of the cold weather storage facility will ensure the ministry can call on fresh reserves of food.