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May 27, 2024

IFAD Calls for Action on Post-Harvest Losses to Reduce Poverty, Grow Economy

At the ongoing “1st Post-harvest Connect Conference and Exhibition” in Abuja, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) emphasized that post-harvest solutions are crucial for catalyzing poverty reduction and economic growth. 

Mrs. Dede Ekoue, IFAD Nigeria Country Director, highlighted the importance of appropriate post-harvest solutions in achieving sustainable food production and addressing nutrition challenges.

The conference, organized by the Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), focuses on the theme “Scaling Appropriate Postharvest Solutions for Sustainable Food and Nutrition Security.”

Ekoue pointed out that Nigeria loses an estimated N3.5 trillion annually due to post-harvest losses, with smallholder farmers being the most affected. 

However, IFAD is jointly financing transformative projects aligned with the National Food System Transformation Pathways to reduce these losses. Projects such as the Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises Project in the Niger Delta (LIFE-ND) and the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) aim to provide small-scale farmers and cooperatives with access to finance for investment in post-harvest facilities and equipment.

These projects also involve training farmers in post-harvest handling and storage skills, as well as supporting the formation and implementation of national agricultural strategies and food systems policies to enhance government investments and multi-stakeholder cooperation for reducing post-harvest losses.

IFAD and the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (FMAFS), have launched the new Country Strategic Opportunities Programme (COSOP) 2024 to 2029, aligning with the transformation strategies of the Presidential Emergency Declaration on the country’s Food Security. This cooperation strategy aims to scale up investments and deepen stakeholder partnerships to further reduce post-harvest losses for a more inclusive and sustainable food system.

Ekoue assured that IFAD would leverage the potential of NSPRI in achieving these strategic objectives. NSPRI, under the supervision of the ARCN, conducts research into bulk storage problems of export commodities and local food crops.

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