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 a 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.
Mrs 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.
Mrs 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, 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, 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.
Mr 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, 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.