Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI) developed plastic packaging crates of International standard and best practices known as reusable plastic crates (RPCs) in lieu of raffia woven baskets (RWBs) for the transportation and storage of fresh fruits and vegetables in 1986. In collaboration with Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition and Postharvest Loss Alliance for Nutrition (GAIN-PLAN Nigeria) and Union of Vegetable Farm Produce Marketers, a state-wide market capacity building and sensitization workshops, as well as Investigative Research Survey (IRS) on the benefits of using RPCs in lieu of RWBs for food safety, stack-ability, re-useability, ergonomics, availability as well as economic enhancement of FFVs was conducted. Eighteen markets and two transport unions (RTEAN and NURTW) were selected for the workshops and IRS. Five key informants across each category of stakeholders (farmers, transporters, marketers and traders) were randomly selected from each market. Hands-on-practical assessment showed that 20 kg capacity tomato in RPC cost =$5.5 compared to 50 kg tomato in RWB at $10.9 with product life span of 3 years long haul and one trip respectively. All the stakeholders involved in the IRS cum capacity building workshops concluded that transiting from RWBs to RPCs is for reduction of postharvest loss between harvest and consumption, food quality and safety and increased income for all.
Key words: Key informants, re-useable plastic crates (RPCs), Raffia Woven Baskets (RWB), fresh fruits and vegetables (FFVs).
RPCs, Re-useable Plastic Crates; RWB, Raffia Woven Baskets; FFVs, Fresh Fruits and Vegetables; NSPRI, Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute; GAIN, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition; PLAN, Postharvest Loss Alliance for Nutrition; LASG (MOA), Lagos State Government (Ministry of Agriculture); UPFPM, Union of Perishable Farm Produce Marketers; LAWMA, Lagos State Waste Management Authority; NAV, Netted Articulated Vehicles; IRS, Investigative Research Survey; RTEAN, Road Transport Employer Association of Nigeria; NURTW, National Union of Road Transport Workers.
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