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May 27, 2024

US Unveils New Global Food Security Strategy Country Plan for Nigeria

…as Nigeria Records 50% Post Harvest Losses Annually

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has reiterated commitment to improving food security actions in Nigeria as the U.S. government unveiled its new Global Food Security Strategy Country Plan for Nigeria.

Melissa Jones, Mission Director, USAID made this known at the “1st Post-harvest Connect Conference and Exhibition” in Abuja, organised by the Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (FMAFS), Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), among others. 

She said the plan aligns with President Joe Biden’s commitment to improve food security in Nigeria.

Jones revealed that the new strategy prioritised the value chains of rice, maize and horticulture in six states- Kaduna, Kano, Nasarawa, Plateau, Sokoto and Zamfara.

According to her, the programme builds on previous achievements and lessons learned; prioritises inclusive participation, value chain, climate adaptation and private sector engagement.

Speaking further, Jones disclosed that about 50% of fresh agricultural produce in Nigeria is lost at the post-harvest stage, adding that such losses are partly responsible for the rising food inflation in the country which reached 40.01% in March 2024.

She further called on stakeholders to collaborate to ensure the effects of the unpleasant statistics are reduced for vulnerable populations who have been thrown into hardship.

She said, “Currently, Nigeria post-harvest losses are almost 50% for fresh produce.

“It is critical that we all come together to focus on ensuring that the hard work of farmers is not lost in post-harvest and passes to the consumers who are in need,”

Prof. Garba Sharubutu, Executive Secretary, ARCN, identified one of the major problems in the country as concentrating all efforts on food production and neglecting post-harvest activities.

He emphasized that the conference marks the start of an initiative to raise awareness among the public, government, and farmers on the importance of post-harvest activities.

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