Expert tasks Agric Minister on post harvest losses

An agricultural expert, Mr Victor Iyama, has urged Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Sabo Nanono, to put necessary measures in place to curb post harvest losses.

Iyama, who is the President, Federation of Agricultural Commodity Association of Nigeria (FACAN), told News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja that the losses was as high as 45 per cent.

He said the issue must be prioritised in order to holistically tackle challenges affecting the growth of agriculture in the country.

Iyama noted that post harvest loss, which referred to loss of food in quantity and quality, was a disturbing phenomenon that needed urgent attention.

He explained that it affect farmers, supply chain and consumers, adding it was a result of factors like poor transportation and storage system.

“We must look into small scale processing and improving rural infrastructure.

“I am sure the Minister is going to look into the fact that when we produce almost 40 to 45 per cent go to waste.

“We believe he is going to look into that so that we start being competitive because that is part of the problem.

“I am sure he is going to work a lot on our yields per hectare,” he said.

On ability of the minister to deliver on his mandate, Iyama expressed optimism that he would make the needed impact.

He said: “the minister is an experienced farmer and I believe that from everything I have seen so far about him, he is going to perform to better the lots of farmers and everybody along the value chain.

“Some people have expressed concern that he might not be able to stand the rigours of the job due to age but I strongly believe that age is just a number.

“For me as long as you are healthy you can perform optimally. If you are not healthy even if you are 30 you will not be able to perform. (NAN)