By Onome Amuge
The Nigerian agriculture sector incurs $12 billion worth of post-harvest losses every year as a result of poor transportation system and storage infrastructures, among other negating factors, the Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), said in its latest report.
Aliyu Abdulhameed, the managing director, NIRSAL, made the disclosure during a meeting held in Abuja, aimed at deploying Secured Agricultural Commodity Transport & Storage Corridor (SATS-C) policy to combat post-harvest losses in the country.
The SATS-C will cut post-harvest losses by 50 per cent and, in so doing, accelerate agriculture’s contribution to Nigeria’s gross domestic product by 5 per cent after rollout, Abdulhameed noted.
He also maintained that the policy is similarly anticipated to scale down prices of food, generate 126,000 direct and indirect jobs, and boost the potential of complying with standard practices for better access to industrial, consumer and export markets.
“NIRSAL is reaching out to enabler institutions, driving necessary dialogues and championing advocacy to support the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in the development and implementation of the SATS-C policy in Nigeria,” he added.
On his part, Adeniyi Adebayo, minister of Industry, Trade and Investment said the policy would enhance a complete structuring of nodal service platforms to support smooth route-to-market operation for agricultural commodities.
The move, he assured, will minimise post-harvest losses as it is expected to facilitate the movement of goods from the primary source through a safe secure channel to three critical points: domestic consumer; industries; and export market.
According to agriculture analysts, post-harvest losses in Africa’s biggest economy and its most populous country, vary from between 5 and 20 per cent for grains and the rate for perishables is significantly higher, with recorded losses for fruits, vegetables and tubers between 50 and 60 per cent.