By Reinhard Lotz

Lagos, Nigeria – The Potato Farmers Association of Nigeria (POFAN) is taking center stage in the fight for fresher, longer-lasting potatoes. At the recent Market Access Africa conference, POFAN highlighted the critical role of cold chain technology in improving potato quality and profitability across the entire value chain, from farm to fork.

Nigeria, a major potato producer in Sub-Saharan Africa, faces challenges in maintaining potato quality after harvest. Long distances between farms and consumers, coupled with a lack of proper storage and transportation facilities, lead to significant losses.

POFAN recognises the importance of educating farmers about best practices throughout the value chain. They have conducted training sessions across Nigeria, emphasising techniques that ensure optimal potato health from farm to table.

Looking ahead, POFAN is setting its sights on innovative solutions. The organization is actively seeking partnerships to establish cold storage and transportation infrastructure specifically for potatoes.

“Cold chain technology is a proven game-changer,” says a Perpetual Nchechi for POFAN. “By maintaining ideal temperature and humidity during storage and transport, we can significantly reduce spoilage and ensure potatoes reach consumers in peak condition.”

POFAN’s focus on cold chain technology offers a win-win situation for both farmers and consumers. Farmers will experience reduced losses and increased profitability, while consumers will benefit from fresher, higher-quality potatoes.

The potential impact extends beyond immediate benefits. Increased potato availability throughout the year can contribute to food security and dietary diversity. Additionally, POFAN envisions this initiative creating employment opportunities for Nigeria’s youth and women.

While Nigeria currently exports a limited amount of processed potato products, POFAN believes that expanded cold chain capabilities will open the door to exporting fresh potatoes. This could be a significant boost to the country’s agricultural sector, generating additional revenue and contributing to economic growth.

POFAN’s commitment to cold chain technology serves as a model for innovation within Nigeria’s agricultural sector. By prioritising freshness, efficiency, and collaboration, POFAN is paving the way for a more prosperous and sustainable future for Nigerian potato farmers and consumers alike.