BY Salimat Garba
The Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI) has urged the Federal Government to allow it participate in the ongoing Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), to prevent post-harvest loss in the sector.
This call is contained in a communiqué issued by Dr Foline Olayemi, the Coordinator, at the end of the institute’s 2013 In-House Review Meeting in Ilorin, Kwara State recently.
According to the communiqué, there is need for government to create a platform for post-harvest loss prevention in collaboration with the institute in all the ATA value chains.
It also called for more funding by government to carry out post-harvest research, so that the institute could discharge its mandate.
“In view of the importance of post-harvest loss prevention in the current ATA, there is an urgent need for an upward review in funding to step up post-harvest research activities in NSPRI.’’
It noted that capacity building and equipment were the major challenges facing the institute, and called for access to international training by scientists.
The communiqué stressed the need to equip the institute’s laboratories, especially in the area of food quality analysis, as this would enhance food security in the country.
“The institute should as a matter of urgency revive post-harvest loss assessment studies for food commodities across the country to update database for food losses in the country.
“The focus of research activities should be toward development of demand-driven technologies, which can be patented in order to protect the intellectual right property of the products.
“Technologies developed in the institute should be replicated in substations to encourage investors to adopt them,” the communiqué stated.
It, however, pledged to strengthen its collaboration with the media to ensure effective communication of its activities and products to the end users.
The in-house review is an annual event that provides a forum for scientists to discuss and exhibit the results of their researches.
It is an avenue for stakeholders to brainstorm on the various ways to reduce post-harvest losses and ensure food security and sufficiency in the country.
The event attracted about 100 participants drawn from research institutes, universities, Ministries of Agriculture, Agricultural Development Projects, farmers’ associations, agro-allied and chemical companies and non-governmental organisations.
The in-house review’s theme was: ‘’Food Preservation Research Transformation through Competitive Technology Development”