What is a future without something to sustain life? Why would there be a future without nothing to eat when we have farmers? This could be our sad reality tomorrow if nothing is being done .
The joy of every farmer is so achieve bumper harvest and high grade produce which are very key to improve not only the farmers livelihood but the nation’s economy. However, obtaining good yield is not enough but the ability to ensure that the good yield is preserved in terms of quality and quantity until it gets to the markets. Thus, ensuring that good Agricultural practices are implemented during the post-harvesting activities are very key and farmers need to acquire the necessary skills to carry out these activities seamlessly.
One of the important post-harvest activities is storage as this helps to elongate the shelf life of harvested produce. To achieve good stored produce, farmers must store at a safe level which is achieved by either reducing moisture contents of the produce in the case of grains (maize, sorghum, groundnut and soybeans e.t.c) or inhibiting further ripening or deterioration when it comes to fruits and vegetables (mango,orange, pineapple, lettuce, cabbage and carrots e.t.c)
In both cases , there is need to adopt technologies that help to guarantee that produce are well dried to a safe level and remains fresh under a controlled environment. This is a very crucial post-harvest activity to achieve food security. This is because about 40-60% of harvested produce are lost annually as a result of poor handling practices. Therefore adopting good storage practices and infrastructure will help to increase the quantity and quality of foods available especially in Nigeria.
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Therefore, developing adaptable storage infrastructure is a major requirement in achieving zero hunger and acquiring the technical skills to handle it are ingredients of success. Also , more awareness needs to be done at the farm level to encourage the use of simple storage facilities that increase shelf life of Agricultural produce and also develop the technical know-how locally for easy access to technical personnel incase of any unintended challenges.
Improving access to food will help to increase productive economy , therefore, we need more investment in providing low cost storage facilities to the farmers in order to make food accessibility possible in the 21st century.
Bello Abdullahi is an entrepreneur in the Agricultural sector based in Kaduna, Nigeria. His business, Al-Mubashir Global Enterprises is centered on fishery, livestock, honey, crop production, processing and Agro-consultancy services.
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