Post Harvet Losses: FG, LASG empower stakeholders on technologies to boost food security

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By Moses Adeniyi

The Federal Government in collaboration with the Lagos State Government on Thursday empowered stakeholders in the agricultural value chain with post harvest technologies and storage facilitate in a bid to reduce the records of losses in the value chain.

According to the duo, the post harvest technology for storage and value addition distributed to the agricultural stakeholders were meant for the processing of their crops, reduction in post harvest losses, as well as prolongation of shelf life of agricultural produces.

The facilities distributed to stakeholders which include processors, traders and farmers in the agriculture value chain, include Ice fridge box, hermetic drums for the storage of grain and dry products, smoking kin for fish farmers, among others.

Zonal Coordinator and Representative of the National Executive Director, Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI), Dr. (Mrs.) Olatilewa Oladuntan said the empowerment was designed for “the improvement in the livelihoods of each of the stakeholders beneficiaries with improvement in their productivity and finance.”

On post harvest losses she said “about 50 to 60 percent perishable and durable crops suffer wastage after harvest and this is what we are trying to minimise.”

“Even in the livestock production, when you are cropping your feeds, you know the amount you are wasting if you do not make use of these post harvest technologies you are going to be given today, especially the smoking kin for value addition in fish production,” she said.

According to her, the development is needed to “phase out food insecurity in Nigeria,” stressing that “by reducing the post harvest losses in agricultural produce, we know that we would feed the whole nation.”

She urged the beneficiaries to make prudent use of the facilities, stressing that the Agency is committed to building and training stakeholders for capacities.

She mentioned that such training was necessary to curtail such gaps as misuse of technology in packaging of food items and misapplication of chemicals, which according to her, causes health hazards.

“That is why we are putting effort in place to ensure people adopt and use these post harvest technologies,” she said.

The Programme Manager, Lagos State Agricultural Development Authority, Dr Olamilekan Pereira-Sheteolu, said the quality of the technologies were of high standard to meet the needs of post harvest food security, mentioning the innovations are commendable.

Assuring optimum usage and transparency in the distribution of the facilities, he said “be rest assured for all these things donated, there is nothing that will be cornered. I assure you we shall do due diligence. Some of them, if not all who are present will be taking away every thing when handed over to them today.”

Calling on stakeholders to put the facilities into use, he said: “Everything we are giving you today, ensure you put them into proper use for food security in Lagos and Nigeria at large. Contribute your own quota,” he said.

He assured stronger collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, and the relevant Departments and Agencies to further boost food security in the State and the Country at large.