Nigeria’s Panache: From Garbage to Export

Rich in tasty healthy food and other products that help build communities, Nigeria continues to be a global hub of innovation.

Historically, domestic food storage has been very basic: The food is stored away, and nothing is moved. But innovation has come to the frontier and small businesses have embraced technology to improve the agriculture value chain of Nigeria.

Gigsberg, an innovator in Nigeria’s agricultural value chain, has transformed the country’s once simple vegetable storage system by putting an advanced cold storage system into the palm of Nigerians’ hands. But this company is also helping farmers make the most of the country’s sunshine.

Nigeria, in general, and Lagos, in particular, is covered in darkness. However, rich in sunshine, Lagos is also a desert where crops may experience adverse effects from the scorching heat. Now, a localized solution to this is available: cold storage.

Cold storage systems are operated to keep food fresh by keeping temperatures at a certain temperature. This seasonal storage, performed throughout the year, is key to food keeping. The storage methods differ greatly and range from refrigerated trucks and containers to insulated, hard-to-reach places, or even in other properties, like giant glassed-in domes and weather-control cooling towers.

The simple kitchen-style containers of the Gowon System are put away by Nigerians in densely populated areas that are surrounded by high daily temperatures. By not moving products, they allow for stability of temperature and help Nigerians protect themselves against the daily heat.

“What is extremely exciting about this is that is you can actually use your own facility. Like if you have bananas or vegetables, you could put them in your field, keep them in your own field, and then come back and cook at home,” said Joe Ayeni of Gigsberg.

Despite the prevalence of cold storage, billions of people still suffer from access to high quality food. Food production is generally unprofitable in African countries, where many farms are small scale and production requires sub-par farming practices.

Nigeria, for example, currently produces one quarter of the entire food crops of Sub-Saharan Africa, yet less than 12 percent of Nigerians live within urban areas and poor agricultural production causes about 40 percent of the country’s stunted growth.

While this progress is in progress, a countrywide climate change mitigation plan has been missing for more than three years. But this is changing as Gigsberg works to change the mindset of Nigerians as more and more farmers realize how having a centralized area where their produce can be kept properly makes it easier to grow, preserve and distribute their products.

This story originally appeared on Fox News.

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