Nigeria currently loses about 2.7 trillion naira [8 billion dollars ] to post-harvest food losses per year as revealed by the Executive Director, Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute [NSPRI], Prof. Olufemi Peters.
This was during the opening ceremony of a two-day capacity building workshop on “agricultural products loss, reduction and value addition for rural farmers,’’ held at Ahiazu Mbaise Local Council of Imo State.
More than 51.3 metric tonnes of food is lost due to post-harvest food losses for all the agricultural products from the country.
The institute further observed that the losses were much higher in rural communities that were in dire need of development because of the inadequate presence of basic facilities and infrastructure.
Presently, post-harvest food losses for grains, roots and tubers, fruits and vegetable, livestock and fisheries, and many more are about 15, 35, 50, and 30 per cent, respectively.
He made this comment against the backdrop of the release of the joint-findings of the Food and Agriculture Organisation [FAO] and the NSPRI survey done in the country’s six geopolitical zones.
He blamed this on the fact that the country is yet to reach its goal of self-sufficiency and becoming a superpower food manufacturer. For him, without the necessary infrastructure being made available and up-to-date, Nigeria will continue to experience this huge loss.
He berated the government for not paying close attention to the post-harvest loss problem, crediting it with the intensification of the issue.
He then enjoined stakeholders in the farming sector to work together to tackle the problem head-on.