NSPRI trains farmers on post-harvest management, laments huge waste in farm produce~NEWSEXTRA - News Extra Online

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Sunday, 13 December 2020

NSPRI trains farmers on post-harvest management, laments huge waste in farm produce~NEWSEXTRA

 



Worried by the annual huge lose in food production due to poor post-harvest handling of farm produce, the Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute recently organized a two-day training workshop for some youth and women farmers in Kano state.


Declaring the workshop open at the NSPRI Zonal office in Kano, the Executive Director of the training institute, Dr. Patricia Pessu lamented that over a billion ton of food is either lost or wasted annually due to poor postharvest handling.


40 youth and women benefited from the program which had as its theme, ‘Training of youths and women on value addition to perishable crops’ 
Represented by the zonal coordinator of NSPRI in Kano, Dr. Mrs. Eunice Idowu Bamishaiye, the Executive Director noted that this unnecessary food wastage takes place despite the fact that the country is yet to achieve self-sufficiency in food production.


In her words, “The highest levels of food loss and waste occur in perishable crops such as fruits and vegetables and roots and tubers. Post-harvest losses in fruits and vegetables across the country are as high as 50 percent, while for others maybe lesser. 


“With the current situation in Nigeria, such as the gradual increase in population and Covid pandemic, food insecurity is seriously looming and poverty status will definitely ascent. Food losses and food waste not only have adverse impacts on the region’s food security, but also negatively impact on the environment, labour, land, water and other resources used in food production.” 


She therefore commended the facilitator of the training and urged participants to not only be attentive but to be ready to put the knowledge gained into practice so as to help bring agricultural revolution and development to the state.


She assured the gathering that NSPRI has the human and material capabilities to deliver in any area of postharvest value addition to tropical foods. 
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Stressing that, “The Institute has handled various projects for both International and local organizations. At Present, we are rounding up four years projects on grain handling executed for the USAID, apart from the value addition project on fish completed for FAO. NSPRI Kano has been known as a frontline Zonal Office for capacity development for farmers, processors and other relevant food stakeholders. They have successfully conducted training for 200 youths in seven States in Northern Nigeria and trained over 100 youths for Kano State. Today the Institute will handle the processing of fresh tomatoes fruit into various products like paste, puree, jam, fruit concentrates among others.”


Earlier, in his welcome address, the principal Consultant of Hilltop Intercontinental and Business Services Limited, Mr. Kolo Stephen disclosed that the training is NSPRI’s way of contributing to the development of farmers for an enhanced food productivity and sustainability.


He reminded the gathering that production of food crops in Nigeria has increased due to the recent advocacy for the diversification of the economy, but noted that a high percentage is lost due to lack of proper postharvest management especially the storage and value addition components required to guarantee food security.                                                                             
“These losses cause low return for farmers on annual investment, reduced internally generated revenue, low family income and create food scarcity,” he said.
He sated that one of the ways to curb this ugly trend is to empower the farmers with skills which include food value addition. 


“Food value addition means economically adding value to a product by changing its current place, time and from one set of characteristics to other characteristics that are more preferred in the marketplace. This involves changing or transforming a product from its original state to a more valuable state. It increases the economic value of commodities through some processes leading to development of new products and proper packaging. Value can be added to excess agricultural produce that otherwise could have been wasted making them available all year round,” he said.

NEWSEXTRA reports that the opening ceremony was witnessed stakeholders in the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Local Government, AFAN and other relevant bodies 
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