Government has been blamed for the increasing level of food wastage in the country.
The assertion was made at a seminar by students drawn from various schools in Lagos State. The students, who made the observation in a debate session at a seminar organised by Bariga Development Community Association (BADECA), a non-profit organisation, in commemoration of the 2013 World Environment Day, said the problematic transportation system in the country with the terrible condition of most Nigerian roads has been responsible for damage of food items when being moved from points of production to areas where they are needed.
According to them, a huge quantity of farm produce is wasted on daily basis because it takes the farmers many days to move the produce to the market as a result of transportation problems. “By the time the food items get to where they are needed, they would have started to rotten and are no longer of nutritive value,” the students said.
The students also pointed out that lack of proper distribution channels; capital, storage facility, and lack of purchasing power on the part of the people are also contributing to food wastage in the country.
According to representatives of CMS Girls’ Senior Grammar School, Bariga, “One of the greatest problems is that of poor storage facilities. Most farmers do not have the facility to preserve their produce, so they face the problem of selling off everything as soon as they are harvested.
“The ideal thing should have been that since the decay is natural and may not be stopped, chemical processes should have been employed. But a visit to the Ketu Fruit Market in Lagos will show the level this problem has assumed. There are always heaps of decayed and decaying fruits. Again, the problem of electricity is a huge one. Preservation of farm produce cannot be possible without constant supply of power.”
The event, which also featured quiz and essay competitions witnessed the award of trophies to deserved winners.