The ActionAid Nigeria and Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation of Nigeria have said that farmers in the country lose over N3.5tn as post-harvest losses due to lack of small cottage processing and storage facilities.
The group, at a press conference recently in Abuja, said in order to drastically cut the over N3.5tn post-harvest losses, the government should provide farmers with small cottage processing and storage facilities.
They said, “Concentrating on small cottage processing and storage facilities in communities based on various commodities is an effective approach to reducing post-harvest losses, especially in remote areas.”
They also urged the federal and state governments to massively invest in rural roads to support trade and transportation of agricultural produce.
ActionAid’s Food and Agriculture Programme Manager, Mr Azubike Nwokoye, said recent findings on the nation’s annual post-harvest losses revealed that each of the 36 states of the federation and FCT loses an estimated N94.5bn produce annually.
According to him, the figure represents over 50 per cent of the total agricultural production in each state.
“If the N3.5tn is lost to post-harvest by the entire country is divided across the 36 states and the FCT, it shows that a whooping N94.5bn is lost to the menace.
The amount lost is far more than each state’s annual agriculture budgetary allocations and spending.
“This also means that 50 per cent of production is lost to post-harvest losses as well as 50 per cent income loss for smallholder farmers in spite of the numerous challenges they are faced with it.
“If nothing is done urgently, Nigeria cannot achieve food and nutrition security,” Nwokoye said.