October 17 (THEWILL) – The Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI) introduced farmers in Kogi State to newly invented, technology-based storage equipment, as part of its efforts to reduce post-harvest losses and ensure the availability of quality products. farm products in the state.
THEWILL reports that the equipment included airtight steel drums for storing grain, smoking ovens for smoking fish and ice-cold fish crates for keeping fresh fish over a long period of time.
Agriculture Commissioner David Apeh commissioned and distributed the equipment to nine multi-purpose cooperative groups at the state’s Agricultural Development Project (ADP) premises in Lokoja over the weekend.
Apeh, represented by the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Malam Sani Abdulganiyu, said post-harvest losses over the years have posed a great challenge to the agricultural sector, culminating in food insecurity.
He commended NSPRI for introducing technology-based devices to farmers in Kogi, saying the state, through ADP, was already in partnership with the institute.
He added that anything done to enable more farmers to benefit from technological inventions, especially installations, would be handled by ADP with the full support of the state government.
Speaking earlier, NSPRI team leader Dr Olaleye Oladimeji said the inventions were aimed at alleviating post-harvest losses often associated with agricultural products.
Oladimeji said the beneficiaries included farmers, handlers and traders of agricultural products identified through the collaboration with the state ADP “because they (ADP) know the people of the agribusiness and where they find themselves”.
“The government, as we know, has done a lot to promote agricultural production, but we find that when you produce after a while, due to improper handling and inadequate knowledge to preserve products, most of between them get lost.
“Between 20% and 50% of agricultural products are lost in transport from the farm to the final table. We felt that we had to do something and that is why we are doing it in collaboration with ADP being fully involved in extension services, ”he said.
Also speaking, NSPRI agricultural engineer Ms. Omolola Ogunjinrin, who presented representatives of the nine beneficiary cooperative groups with a demonstration of the operational functioning of the equipment, urged them to strictly adhere to the instructions.
Ogunjinrin said the airtight steel storage drums could be used to store grains, such as beans, corn, rice, millet and sorghum for six months to a year without adding chemicals.
She said some of the institute’s inventions, including the frozen fish box, airtight steel drum and smoking oven, had already been patented and published by their researchers.
ADP Managing Director Alhaji Bello Ogirima commended NSPRI for its collaboration in stopping post-harvest losses and instructed beneficiaries not to sell the equipment to meet other commitments.
“In some cases we’ve seen a move like this and the next thing you see is the recipients selling them. Gone are the days of taking things from government and selling them. We will not tolerate it.
“As we are giving now, extension workers follow you at all times to come and see you and if at some point we don’t see it you will explain what you did with it and if we find out that you sold it. , we will force you to buy a new one and sue you, ”he said.