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Poor storage causing rise in food prices – NISER

By on July 13, 2014

The Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research, Ibadan, has raised the alarm over the rising food prices, blaming loss of 40 per cent of the nation’s total food production on farmers’ lack of storage facility.

At the institute’s monthly seminar series held in Ibadan this week, Head, Productive Sector Group, Economic Policy Research Department, NISER, Dr. Timothy Oni, who delivered a paper titled, ‘Reducing Foord Crop Losses Through Post-Harvest Management in Nigeria’, said that availability and accessibility of most food crops in Nigeria was being threatened, leading to an astronomical rise in food prices. He warned that if not quickly checked by the Federal Government, increase in population and dwindling land resources could lead to adverse impact on food security and economic development.

He said, “It is necessary to reduce food crop losses in order to combat hunger, raise income and create employment along food supply chain and thus tame poverty in Nigeria.

“Post-harvest losses due to inefficient harvesting, processing and storage techniques ranged between 20 and 40 per cent of the total food production in Nigeria. Rural areas typically have poor transportation, poor water supply, poor source of energy and poor marketing facilities. All these, coupled with predominance of poor farm implements and rudimentary post-harvest technology, worsen the problem of post-harvest food losses.”

Oni added that despite the Federal Government’s effort in addressing some issues responsible for the loss, post-harvest food losses were still substantial while food imports bills have been rising in order to meet the shortfall in food availability.