PRODUCE OFFICERS BRAINSTORM ON WAYS TO MINIMISE POST-HARVEST LOSSES
By Ifeoma Aniagbado
Awka, (Awka South LGA), July 4, 2018 (MOI) A two-day workshop to ensure that Anambra State Agricultural produce attains International acceptability as local organically produced products.
Declaring open the workshop, Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) Conference hall, Awka, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Afam Mbanefo, re-stated his preparedness to ensure that produce from the farms were certified.
He described the theme of the workshop - ``Post-Harvest Losses Assessment and Grain Storage Using Safe Chemicals and Other Methods’’, as apt, saying the workshop would proffer solutions to the perennial wastages during harvest times.
Mbanefo said that government invested so much in Agricultural produce for betterment of the entire populace and challenged Produce Department Officers to ensure that government’s effort were not in vain.
The commissioner explained that the aim of the workshop was to address the health of farms and the people that eat what was being produced.
``Ndi Anambra need healthy farms for healthy people,’’ he said.
Mbanefo urged those in the agric produce business to ensure that chemicals they use to store seeds were not detrimental to health of the people.
The Director, Research Operations, Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI) Ilorin, Dr (Mrs) Patricia Pessu said that the Train the Trainers (TOT) workshop was timely.
``There is need for adequate and efficient preservation of crops produced, in order to encourage the farmers.
``It is also to equip the trainers on how much money government spends annually to import chemicals into the state, to avoid health hazards to the people.
``Grains can be kept for human consumption,” Pessu said.
A resource person, Mr Wale Ajiboye, who spoke on ``Post-Harvest Loss Assessment on Unit Operations for Small Holders Farmers’’, said that grain quality was important since there was difference between cereals and legumes.
Ajiboye, stressed the importance of drying seeds, pointing out that it reduced the bulk of the produce, making it easier to manage and preserve for another planting season.
Earlier, Director Produce Department Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs Uzoamaka Emeagwali said the Training the Trainers workshop was adopted as a result of so much adulteration in food stuffs as well as unsafe chemicals used to preserve food stuff.
She added that marketers and consumers would be well educated at the end of
the workshop. (MOI)