Nigeria - Food insecurity aggravated by harvest losses

25.11.2022 318 views

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Abubakar, has stated  that Nigeria’s food insecurity is being aggravated by harvest losses estimated at billions of naira annually.

The minister stated this yesterday in Kaduna at a workshop on post-harvest management and value-chain financing, jointly organised by the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA), and the Raw Material Research and development Council (RMRDC).

He said a part from ignorance on crop management by farmers and insecurity, a major cause of post-harvest losses is the poor rural road infrastructure.

According to the minister, who was represented by Mishel Alao, an official of the ministry, the root causes of post-harvest losses in crops, livestock and fisheries, are lack of modern post- harvest equipment, chemicals and lack of technologies used for combating losses.

He said recently, post-COVID-19 situations, herdsmen clashes, the decade-old Boko Haram insurgency, bandits and flooding ravaging most farms are also parts of the causes.

The minister said the 2019 Global Hunger Index shows that Nigeria’s case is progressing from a “serious to alarming level.”

He said the workshop would galvanise the effort of all tiers of government towards enhancing the socio-economic development of Nigeria, adding that the essence of the workshop is to brainstorm on post-harvest management and value chain financing.

“It will promote networking and collaboration among participants; compliment the effort of all tiers of government towards food security.

“The root causes of post-harvest losses in crops, livestock and fisheries include lack of modern post- harvest equipment, chemicals and technologies used for combating losses will be displayed for farmers to sensitise them,” he said.

According to him, the ministry is “investing massively in procurement of equipment such as tractors, storage equipment, transportation and processing equipment that will reduce post-harvest losses and increase agricultural value chains.

 “Moreover, the government is also building more roads and repairing dilapidated roads in the rural areas for easy transportation of agricultural produce.”

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