The Farm Awareness for Food Preservation Initiative (FAFPI) has urged farmers to adopt traditional storage techniques and lessen the effects of post-harvest losses.
Mr. Edu Ogbonnaya, the National Coordinator of the initiative said in Lagos on telephone that over one-third of the country’s produced foods are lost due to lack of storage facilities.
Ogbonnaya said that currently, Nigeria losses over two billion dollars (about N714 billion) annually to post-harvest losses, adding that there is need to urgently address the issue if food sufficiency is to be achieved.
“Nigeria is still very low when we talk about tackling post-harvest losses and we are currently not doing much to mitigate the problem. We have yet to know the importance of preservation and how it can help to sustain the economy.
We have identified a problem in the sector; we need to find solutions that will help to lessen its effects on the food reserves of the nation.
That is why we need to engage local storage techniques and also invest in preservation cooling systems for farmers across the country,” , he said.
He said that traditional storage could be built with raffia, straws and jute sacks, while vegetables and fruits could be stored in perforated plastic containers that could preserve the veggies for over four days.
FAFPI is a Non-Governmental Organisation affiliated with the International Forum of Organic Agricultural Movement; set up to train farmers on preservation techniques and post-harvest handling.
The initiative has trained over 22,000 farmers across the country and hope to train more.