• Friday, July 19, 2024
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Experts advocate use of tech to reduce post-harvest losses

Fostering collaboration: A crucial nexus for Nigeria’s food security

Agricultural experts have called for the use of the right policy and technology to curb post-harvest losses in order to boost food production and lower the prices of foodstuffs in Nigeria.

The experts spoke at a seminar on ‘Feed up Africa’ held in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Wednesday.

One of them, Eric Alao, an agro-processing expert, while speaking at the seminar urged Nigerians to reduce post-harvest losses just as he identified wastage on farm and after production as contributing to increasing prices of agricultural produce and food shortage in the country.

Alao added that food processing must be encouraged as a way of stopping wastage.

“One of the ways of strengthening food security is by reducing post-harvest losses. African post-harvest loss can be as high as 50 percent in vegetables, fruits and root tubers and 25 percent in cereals.

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“Also, there should be adequate sensitisation and education along the post-harvest chain on good agronomical practices. There must also be adequate training and knowledge transfer to agric players in understanding the causes of the loss and adopting preventive approaches to reduce it.

“Economical technological innovation that meets the smallholder farmers’ post-harvest needs is also very important as well as responsible consumption to ensure optimal food usage and waste reduction.”

Also, Dickson Orisamuyiwa said Nigerian investors should move in to reduce wastages to shore up the country’s food production capacity. He said, “Post-harvest technologies can contribute to food security in multiple ways.

They can reduce losses thereby increasing the amount of food available for consumption by farmers and poor rural and urban consumers.

“The benefits to consumers from reducing losses include lower prices and improved food security. In addition, postharvest activities such as processing and marketing can create employment and better food security in the agricultural sector.

“Therefore, reducing postharvest losses clearly complements other efforts to enhance food security through improved farm-level productivity.”