The Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI) Ibadan says Nigeria has environment-friendly patented technologies that can reduce post-harvest loss.
Dr Grace Otitodun, the Zonal Coordinator of NSPRI, made the claim in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan on Wednesday.
Otitodun said “it is imperative for anyone in the agricultural value chain to do it right instead of using chemicals as preservatives for post-harvest storage.
“NSPRI has come up with several locally made technologies that address post-harvest loss and improve the shelf life of crops.
“There is no way you can venture into agriculture in a proper way using the appropriate measure that you will run into a loss.
“The opportunities are enormous as everybody relies on food but the use of chemicals is harmful to the users and even the consumers of the farm produce.
“That is why NSPRI is saddled with the responsibility of providing locally made technologies to solve myriads of problems in the post-harvest and value chains of agriculture in Nigeria.’’
The zonal coordinator further said that the agency had the mandate to conduct research and develop technologies into a reduction of post-harvest loss in Nigeria.
She said the institute had been involved in various training programmes for youths and the corps members, in particular, to expose them to agribusiness instead of looking for white-collar jobs.
“For the institute to be more effective in handling this task, we have different programmes; there is one for durables, cereals and pulses, for perishable crops such as fruits and vegetables, roots and tubers as well as fisheries and livestock.
“We also hold outreaches where developed technologies are disseminated; the institute has agricultural engineers that develop, design and fabricate technologies which our scientists’ test and if found effective are pushed for patenting and on the shelf for takeoff,’’ Otitodun said.
She advised against the use of pesticides and other chemicals which she said had continued to decrease the nutritional quality of food in Nigeria and hampered the health of those handling it for storage purposes.
Otitodun said some of the NSPRI technologies included Inert Atmospheric Silo which is airtight and different from the conventional ones seen around.
Others according to her are NSPRI Dust for grains storage, Evaporative Coolant System for fruits and vegetables, Stackable Crates for tomatoes, Cane Baskets for keeping vegetables fresh and Smoking Kiln and Ice Fish Box for transporting fish on a long distance.
Others Multicrop Dryer for drying agricultural produce (Rice, Beans, Cassava, yam etc), Maize Crib; for storage of maize and other grains.