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May 27, 2024

Food Security: Experts Call for Collaborative Efforts to Mitigate Postharvest Losses

Agricultural experts have emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts to mitigate postharvest losses and ensure food security at the inaugural Postharvest Connect Conference and Exhibition in Abuja.

Speaking during the inauguration, Mrs. Omolara Adewola from the University of Ibadan stressed the need for integration across the agricultural value chain to address losses from land preparation to consumer consumption.

“Collaboration is key,” Adewola said. “We must harmonize the entire agricultural value chain, involving farmers, processors, marketers, and consumers to minimize postharvest losses.”

Mr. Ofon Udofia, Executive Secretary of the Institute of Export Operations and Management, highlighted the importance of involving bankers in agricultural financing to support postharvest initiatives. “Bankers should play a vital role in guiding farmers financially, similar to what is seen in countries like Tanzania and Kenya,” Udofia emphasized.

Dr. Robert Chakanda, Executive Director of Sierra Leone Seed Certification Agency, emphasized the significance of quality seeds in reducing postharvest losses. “Seed quality is crucial,” Chakanda noted. “We must prioritize seed quality as it forms the foundation of agricultural activities.”

Prof. Johnson Onyibe of Ahmadu Bello University underscored the government’s role in promoting mechanization and digitalization in agriculture, including postharvest processes. “The National Agriculture and Innovation Transformation Plan provides opportunities for modernizing the agricultural sector,” Onyibe stated. 

He also mentioned the improvement in reducing postharvest losses, citing a decrease from 60% to 50% according to recent data.

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