Nigeria records 50% post-harvest losses
Experts have said that due to about 50% post-harvest losses in Nigeria, all hands must be on deck to tame the trends with modern preservative and value addition technologies.These were disclosed when the Postharvest Loss Alliance for Nutrition (PLAN) project, an initiative of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), organised a three-day training workshop on “Proximate Processing Technologies & Methods for Tomato and Plantain” in Ikeja, recently.
Dr. Augustine Okoruwa, Senior Project Manager, PLAN, said, “The project is predicated on the fact that currently in Nigeria, we produce large quantities of fruits and vegetables, but almost 50% of what is produced is lost after harvest. So we need to reduce these losses and return them back to the supply chain.”
The workshop, funded by The Netherlands to educate farmers on the fresh fruits and vegetables value chain, attracted about 70 participants, including entrepreneurs, cooperative societies, research institutions, universities, polytechnics, state agricultural development programmes, financial services providers and regulatory agencies.
The workshop content was designed to help the participants acquire the essential knowledge and skills to set up and operate small-medium scale processing/packaging operations in their different locations, and was facilitated by Mr. Duro Kuteyi, MD/CEO of Betamark Production Company Limited.He said, “We identified three intervention points in the supply chain of fresh fruits and vegetables: the lack of cold chain storage and logistics; inadequate crating & packaging; and inadequate food processing facilities.”
One of the interventions is, he added, proximate processing of fresh fruits and vegetables which means processing them close to where they are produced, thereby adding value to the produce so that they are not wasted.