WFP trains farmers on post harvest best practices

BY Ene Okwanihe

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The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), in collaboration with the Agricultural Development Project (ADP) and the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), have trained 300 farmers in Yobe state, North-East Nigeria on post-harvest best practices . The training involved using hermetic storage technology to improve methods of food storage after the harvest season.

Hermetic storage bags are airtight and waterproof, allowing farmers to store and save grains from infestations by insects, rodents and others.

The training aims to reduce the losses suffered by farmers due to improper food storage and boost food security to achieve zero hunger.

According to Ms. Eden Guizaw, the WFP officer leading the Post-Harvest Loss Management Programme, when the bags were opened in Gashua, the results were amazing.

“90 percent of the grains stored in the traditional way were lost, while 100 percent of those stored in the hermetic (airtight) bags were intact. It was amazing, indeed, beyond my imagination”, she stated.

Acting Country Director for WFP Sarah Longford said Building on the success of the pilot project, WFP will train more farmers nationwide on the use of the hermetic storage technology in the next phase of the programme.

One of the farmers, Mrs. Taannabi, said she recorded a huge profit in her sales by using the hermetic storage bags to preserve her grains.

After the training, each of the farmers received eight specially made airtight 50 kg bags to store their grains for six months until the prices of grains rose in the market.The farmers stored cowpeas in the new airtight bags, while others stored theirs in the traditional ways.