The Federal government of Nigeria through its agency- Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI) distributes storage facilities to Akwa Ibom farmers in order to reduce post harvest losses.
Farmers in Akwa Ibom State yesterday received agricultural storage facilities from the Federal Government. The items were distributed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, through the Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI).
According to the Executive Director, NSPRI Dr. Patricia Pessu the government was determined to ensure reduction in harvest losses through storage.
Dr. Pessu, was represented by Dr. Idorenyin Nwaehujor, coordinator, Port Harcourt zonal office NSPRI, she encouraged beneficiaries of the items to ensure their proper use, to encourage the Federal Government to do more.
She emphasised the resons why Nigerian foods are rejected in the international market as a result of poor storage which affects getting the International standard of quality nutritious food. She gave an example of dried fishes.
NSPRI Executive Director Dr. Patricia Pessu said that the government was determined to ensure reduction in harvest losses through storage.
The executive director said the distributed storage facilities would help farmers to store their agricultural products and export them for value addition.
She said that the storage facilities such as hermatic drum had the capacity to preserve grains and dried products for over three years.
“Our mandate is to carry out research into storage facilities and you will agree with me that the main problem of agriculture sector is storage. The farmers are very hard working in planting, what happens after harvest is the issue.”
“We have carried out researches over the years and come up with some technologies that will help to extend the lives of our agricultural products.
“So, these are the things we have brought today. These things have been distributed in many states.
“With these facilities, you can store your agricultural products after harvest and sell when you can make more profit, because during harvest, prices are very low,” Pessu said.
She urged the beneficiaries to ensure proper use of the facilities, stressing that agricultural agents would visit them for regular monitoring to ensure the items were not abused.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Glory Edet, thanked the Federal Government and NSPRI for ensuring that the storage facilities were sent to farmers in Akwa Ibom.
She said the beneficiaries would make use of the facilities to improve on their farming businesses.
The state Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Uyobong Uko, said the use of storage facilities would prevent the use of chemicals, stressing that chemicals were dangerous to the body.
The acting Programme Manager and Director, Technical Services, Akwa Ibom State Agricultural Development Programme (AKADEP), Mr. Emma Ekanem, hailed the institute and the Federal Government for facilitating the delivery of the facilities to farmers.