NSPRI Trains 80 ADP Staff On Post-Harvest Management

Eighty staff of the Agricultural Development Projects (ADP) selected from states in the South-West and North-Central geopolitical zones of the country have been trained on technological innovation in post-harvest management.

Speaking during the opening of the three-day training programme by the Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI) Ilorin on Tuesday, the executive director of the institute, Dr Patricia Pessu, said that the organizers of the training programme aimed to step down knowledge on post-harvest management through the ADP staff to farmers at the grassroots.

Dr Pessu, who said that post harvest losses have a significant effect on the economy, added that agriculture plays a vital role in the lives of Nigerians and thus post-harvest management is quite important.

“Over 70 per cent of Nigeria population depends on agriculture as a means of livelihood and so if there is anything affecting agriculture, it will obviously affect the livelihood of Nigerians and that is why NSPRI being the only agency mandated to look at post-harvest management have to look at issues that affect post-harvest in the country”, she said.

The NSPRI boss, who described ADP officials as partners and stakeholders in the agricultural sector, said that “over the years, they have helped to improve the livelihood of the farmers by helping to provide inputs like fertilizers and seedlings.

“As we know, post-harvest has not been in the forefront of their roles and we, having the mandate to conduct research on post-harvest losses, decided as part of our 2021 project to get the ADPs on board, realizing their importance at their grassroots.

“So, we are able to bring them on board to put them through all the available technologies in the industry realizing that they are close to the grassroots and they will able to impact on the farmers and to eventually improve their livelihood and then improve the economy.”

She also said that the partnership would continue after the training programme, adding that, “we intend to have some of our technologies in some places that would be identified by the ADPs where the farmers will have access to these facilities and use them free of charge.”

Also speaking, the managing director of the Kwara state ADP, Babatunde Salami, said that the major problem of agriculture in the country is a poor storage facility, adding that over 40 per cent of farmers’ products usually get wasted.

“But with this training and with the calibre of the people invited here, the ADPs along with all the 36 states, this can be corrected. Honestly speaking, NISPRI in collection with the federal government has done very remarkable work. Look at the people from Kwara state now, zonal manager A, B, C and D are here and this shows that they will step this thing down when they get home.

“They are going to step it down to the farmers and by the time farmers use the knowledge acquired from this place, definitely, the rate at which food gets lost will be drastically reduced and this means that enough food will be available. There is an adage that says “when hunger has been eradicated, poverty is over”.

The Kwara ADP boss also said that the effect of post-harvest loss is a shortage of food, adding that, “when there is too much wastage of agricultural product and you know that most of this products are highly perishable, there is need for the products to be converted from one form to another and this is the primary aim of this training. Without any doubt, I sincerely believe that this training will go a long way to reduce post-harvest wastage.”

SOURCE: TRIBUNE

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