Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Fairtrade Messe GmbH & Co.KG, Martin Maerz, reveals the essence of bringing multinational food and beverage solution providers to the forthcoming agro-food fair holding in Lagos.
What are the specific objectives of holding the international trade fair?
The specific objective of holding the international agrofood & plastprintpack Nigeria 2019 is to create a professional platform on which technology leaders from around the globe and leading Nigerian players in the agro-food and pack industry can exchange views, learn from one another, do know-how transfers, discuss innovations and do business.
Agrofood is Nigeria's fifth international trade show on agriculture, food processing & packaging, ingredients, bakery/confectionery and food and hospitality, whereas plastprintpack is Nigeria's fifth international plastics, printing and packaging trade fair.
The exhibition is complemented by a top level three-day conference on skills development, value chain approach, circular economy and finance, start-ups and digitalisation featuring 25 Nigerian and European experts.
Exhibition and conference will be held on 26 to 28 March 2019 at the Landmark Centre on Victoria Island, Lagos.
Let me please also say a few words on the Nigerian agrofood&plastprintpackmarket which we have observed carefully.
Nigeria is the second largest importer of food processing and packaging technologies in sub-Saharan Africa. The country's imports of food and packaging machinery increased by 15 per cent in 2017 to 262 million Euros compared to 228 million Euros the year before.
Nigeria is also the largest foodstuff market in Africa. Food trade with Nigeria is a US$5.916 billion business, with food imports into Nigeria amounting to US$ 5.102 billion and food exports of US$ 0.814 billion in 2017.
Nigeria is Africa's largest importer of plastics in primary forms. With about 70 per cent of raw materials imported (mainly from the Middle East, Europe and Asia) and only 30% produced locally, the Nigerian market has great potential for exporters of plastics in primary forms. In the years 2008 to 2015, for example, imports of plastic raw materials increased annually by 7.2 per cent, a plus of 62.5 per cent. This makes Nigeria, together with Algeria, Africa's largest importer of plastics in primary forms!
Nigeria's plastics industry is fast growing. According to the Country Cluster of EUROMAP-European Plastics and Rubber Machinery, the per capita consumption of plastics in Nigeria has grown by about 5% annually over the past 10 years, from 4.0kg in 2007 to 6.5kg in 2017 and is estimated to be 7.5kg in 2020.
Nigeria's plastics consumption has grown by 7.8% annually over the past 10 years, from 578kg in 2007 to 1.229kg in 2017 and is estimated to be 1.533kg in 2020. Nigeria's plastics production has grown by 13.9% annually over the past 10 years, from 120kg in 2007 to 442kg in 2017 and is estimated to be 513kg in 2020.
Nigeria also invests heavily in its plastics industry. Its imports of plastics technology in 2017, for instance, increased by 70 per cent, from 54 to 92 million Euros.
Farmers and processors are expected to benefit from the trade fair. What should be their expectations?
Farmers, food and beverage processors as well as professionals from the plastprintpackindustry may expect a unique event which can be characterised in details by the following features.
No fewer than eight official country pavilions will be present this year, namely from Belarus, China, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland and Turkey.
Also, 120 global leaders from 24 countries are presenting their solutions, products and technologies tailored to the needs of the Nigerian agro-food business community.
There will be a very strong international presence. The exhibitors are coming from different continents.
Similarly, there will be a German-Nigerian live bakery expository. First Blends, Diosna and other baked goods and confectioneries will be displayed live on all three days of the show.
A three-day conference will feature 25 Nigerian and European experts on agro-food business and skills development; boosting agro-food production in Nigeria, the value chain approach and circular economy, which is combining innovative techniques and resource efficiency to create sustainable process. Finance, Start-ups and digitization,
What are you driving at altogether?
We are actually driving the two events agro-food & plastprintpack together as they complement each other: agro-food covers the entire value chain, from the field to the table, whereas plastprintpack covers the entire plastics industry as well as the printing and packaging of food and beverage products and non-food products.
The value chain challenges for many crops are enormous. Is the conference bringing value chain solution providers?
Yes, indeed. The following value chain solution providers will be presenting their views and will be ready to discuss these issues on the panel right after they have given their presentations: Caroline Trimborn, Head of Programme, Green Innovation Centre (GIZ); Dr Johannes Flosbach, Corporate Strategy and Business Development (TGI) Group; Bernard Vester, Africa Director; AFOS Foundation for Entrepreneurial Development Cooperation; Emmanuel Ijewere, Vice-President, Nigeria Agri-Business Group (NABG) and Akin Alabi, Managing Partner & Co-Founder, Corporate Farmers International.
Financing is a factor effecting agro-allied industries. Are you facilitating financial solutions to industry players?
Actually, the second session of the conference is on finance, start-ups and digitization as game changers for the agro-food&plastprintpack business in Nigeria. In that session, Sebastian Barroso da Fonseca, Head of German Desk at the Access Bank, will share financial solutions the bank can provide with industry players.