… Urges farmers to embrace improved post-harvest storage technologies***
The Federal Government has formally launched the distribution of agricultural inputs to 7,386 farmers affected by the 2020 flood in Borno.
A statement on Friday by Mr Abdulkadir Ibrahim, the Information Officer of, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) North East Zonal office, said the distribution was performed by the Director General of NEMA, Alhaji Mustafa Ahmed.
“Alhaji Mustapha Ahmed said the farmers were selected from 11 Local Government areas of the state.
“The director general maintained that the distribution of the inputs is in fulfilment of Federal Government’s recovery intervention to the farmers.
“It will boost productivity and also ensure food security,” the statement quoted.
It explained that while in Maiduguri, the director general paid a courtesy call on Gov. Babagana Zulum where he commended the governor for his commitment to restoring normalcy and addressing the humanitarian situation in the state.
The statement reported that Zulum on his part thanked the Federal Government for its sustained support to Borno.
“The Director General also held a meeting with staff of NEMA North East zonal office where he commended the staff for their dedication to duty,” it said.
In another development, the Nigerian Storage Products Research Institute (NSPRI), has urged farmers to embrace the newly introduced improved post-harvest storage facilities in order to reduce loss and waste of farm produce.
The facilities include Smoking Kiln, Ice Fish Box and the Hermetic Steel Drum.
The Executive Director of NSPIRI, Dr Patricia Pessu made the call while distributing post-harvest storage facilities to women farmers’ groups on Friday at Ibusa, Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta.
Pessu, represented by Dr Samuel Agoda, an Agricultural Extension Officer in charge of the Programme in the state, said the distribution was part of the Federal Government’s efforts at reducing loss and waste of farm produce in the country.
She also said that the introduction of the post-harvest storage facilities was geared toward ensuring food security as well as boosting agriculture.
The executive director explained that the Smoking Kiln was an efficient technology for drying fish and meat.
“The use of NSPRI smoking kiln ensures high quality products with permissible polyaromatic hydrocarbons.
“The ice fish box is a cold chain technology developed for extension of shelf-life of fresh fish. It is an effective means of handling fish for transportation, distribution, and marketing.
“The Hermetic steel drum is an airtight technology developed by NSPRI for non-chemical preservation of dried crops/products such as grains, pulses, roots, tubers, fruits, vegetables, fisheries, and livestock.
“The NSPRI Steel Drum can be used in household/domestic and small-scale storage levels”, she said.
Pessu further explained that the essence of the new technology was to reduce waste and loss of farm produce, minimise food losses and post-harvest losses as well as to discourage the use of chemicals to store farm produce.
Earlier, Mr Ben Agama, the Permanent Secretary, Delta Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, advised the farmers to make adequate use of the facilities to boost their businesses.
Agama commended the Federal Government and NSPIRI for impacting on the lives of the farmers in the state.
Similarly, Pastor Peter Odiete, the Programme Manager, Delta Agricultural and Rural Development Authority, noted that post-harvest waste and losses had been a major problem in the agricultural sector.
Odiete also noted that the improved post-harvest storage facilities would go a long way in reducing the challenge.
Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mrs Ann Osifo, a fish farmer, commended the Federal and state government for the gesture and assured them that the facilities would be used to boost their businesses.