FG tasks research institutes on post harvest losses solution

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By Felicia Imohimi

Dr Aliyu Abdullahi, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security (FMAF) has called for effective collaboration of agricultural research institutes across the country to ensure lasting solution to post-harvest losses.

Abdullahi made the call at the 1st Post-harvest Connect Conference and Exhibition on Thursday in Abuja organised by the Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI) among others

The theme of the conference is “Scaling Appropriate Postharvest Solutions for Sustainable Food and Nutrition Security”

The minister identified the conference as a significant milestone towards “our collective aspiration to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time in the post-harvest ecosystem”.

He said at the moment post-harvest losses in the country were estimated to range between five per cent and 20 per cent of grains.

He said that others included 20 per cent for fish and 50 per cent to 60 per cent for tubers, fruits and vegetables.

The minister, however, identified reduction pf post-harvest as a critical component of ensuring future food security, wealth creation for the citizens.

Abdullahi urged researchers among other experts at the conference to come up with latest state-of-the-art information on existing post-harvest interventions in the country.

“We must network with relevant stakeholders to actualise digitisation of agricultural technological interventions, linking markets, services  and people.

“I enjoined you to work with the ministry zero reject committee for appropriate standards of our fresh and processed foods.

“Capacity building for productive Integrated Agricultural Research for Development  (IAR4D) in post-harvest management among various actors in Nigeria is the best way to go.

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“Scaling of post-harvest innovations requires productive alliance that rides on strengths of key actors, ” he said.

Prof. Lateef Sanni, Executive Director, NSPRI, decried post-harvest losses in cereals, which accounted for 17 per cent to 20 per cent while root and tubers account for 35 to 40 per cent.

According to him, that is why no matter any seed we produce, fertilisers and herbicide we distribute in production system if we don’t strengthen the market end of this value chain is effort in futility, “(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Isaac Aregbesola

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