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Nigeria’s Hunger Index worsening – FG

Hauwa Ali

The minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Abubakar, says that Nigeria’s food insecurity is worsening due to harvest losses estimated at billions of naira annually, moving the country’s already serious hunger levels to an alarming rate.

The minister stated this on Wednesday in Kaduna at a workshop on post-harvest management and value chain financing, jointly organised by the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines & Agriculture (KADCCIMA) and the Raw Material Research and development Council (RMRDC).

Represented by Mishel Alao from the ministry, the minister said, apart from ignorance on crop management by farmers and insecurity, a major cause of post-harvest losses is the poor rural road infrastructure.

According to the minister, the root causes of post-harvest losses in crops, livestock and fisheries, include lack of modern post- harvest equipment, chemicals and lack of technologies used for combating losses.

He said in recent times, with post covid-19 situations, herdsmen clashes, the decade-old Boko Haram insurgency, bandits and flooding ravaging most farms, the 2019 Global Hunger Index shows that Nigeria’s case is progressing from a “serious to alarming level”.

He said the workshop will galvanize the effort of all tiers of government towards enhancing the socio- economic development of Nigeria.

He added that the essence of the workshop is to brainstorm on post-harvest management and value chain financing.

“It will promote networking and collaboration among participants, compliment the effort of all tiers of government towards food security.

“The root causes of post-harvest losses in crops, livestock and fisheries include lack of modern post- harvest equipment, chemicals and technologies used for combating losses will be displayed for farmers to sensitize them”, the minister said.

 “Equipment fabricators, financial institution and researchers on best technological practices.

“Apart from ignorance on crop management by farmers and insecurity, central to the post-harvest losses is the poor rural road infrastructure.

“Virtually non:exiştent cold storage system for perishables and a moribund rail system, low level of mechanization utilization

“The exhibition is to bring stakeholders in the post-harvest”

According to him, the ministry is “investing massively in procurement of equipment such as tractors, storage equipment, transportation and processing equipment that will reduce post-harvest losses and increase agriçultural value chains.

“Moreover, the government is also building more roads and repairing dilapidated roads in the rural areas for easy transportation of

agricultural produce.”

The minister said the ministry is procuring 10,000 tractors and 50,000 machinery for processing for the Green Imperative Programme (GIP).

He called on Local Governments which are the closest to the people

be in the forefront in preventing losses by promoting the maintenance of

food stocks at household and enterprise levels.

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