Gov Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi has appealed for more resources to mitigate post harvest losses and to ensure food security in the country.
Bagudu made the appeal in Abuja, at the ongoing 3-day intensive hands-on training on “Post-harvest handling techniques,” organised by Farms Flowers and Allied Products Initiative (FFAP).
The training has as its theme: “Mitigating Against Severe Food Security through efficient post-harvest handling technique”.
Bagudu, who was the chairman of the event, urged stakeholders to allocate more resources to train farmers and processors on food preservation, which he described as a major challenge to the nation’s food security.
Represented by Mr Usman Muhammed, Chairman, Anchor Borrowers Programme, the governor explained that the challenges of preservation and management of crops “is not a new thing particularly in Africa.”
This, he noted, could be caused by the absence of traditional techniques of preservation, particularly with regards to vegetables and other perishable crops.
According to him, the trainings and workshops of this nature are timely, as they will expose participants to skills and knowledge of preservation and management of crops.
Bagudu commended the efforts of FFAP and described it as a laudable initiative that should be supported by all.
“The training is a laudable and great initiative of our time with a view to accessing knowledge of preservation of post harvest crops.
“In spite of this knowledge, we should also look at resources of making the knowledge available across board in terms of budget structures and available tools that will support the knowledge acquired.
“Anybody who has initiative regarding preservation of food to avoid food crisis must and should be commended,” he said.
Speaking at the training which will end on Friday, Mrs Christy Yakubu, President FFAP, said that the organisation was committed to raising the quality of life for every individual in the agric-business.
Yakubu said that FFAP was engaged in agric-business and entrepreneurship to create possibilities for agripreneurship, training and technology-driven processes critical to agricultural value chain.
She said that the mission of the training was to provide practical, step-by-step assistance on proper post-harvest handling to reduce wastages and losses which constituted a major challenge faced by small holder farmers in Nigeria and Africa.
She said the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimate indicates that one third of the food produced globally for human consumption was lost or wasted along the supply chain.
According to her, this estimate is even higher in Africa due to several reasons but majorly as a result of lack of post-harvest handling knowledge, skills and infrastructure.
“This training initiative is, therefore, an attempt to equip farmers and others in the agricultural value chain with requisite knowledge on efficient and inexpensive methods of preserving farm produce,” she said.