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Post-harvest losses for fresh produce at almost 50% in Nigeria- USAID

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has stated that about 50% of fresh agricultural produce in Nigeria is lost at ...-harvest stage.

The Mission Director, USAID, Melissa Jones, stated this at the “1st Post-harvest Connect Conference and Exhibition,” which was held in Abuja.

According to her, such losses are partly responsible for the rising food inflation in the country which reached 40.01% in March 2024.

He further called on stakeholders to collaborate to ensure the effects of the unpleasant statistics is reduced for vulnerable populations who have been thrown into hardship.

She said, “Currently, Nigeria post-harvest losses are almost 50% for fresh produce.

“It is critical that we all come together to focus on ensuring that the hard work of farmers is not lost in post-harvest and passes to the consumers who are in need,”

She also used the opportunity to disclose the United States’ plan for food security in Nigeria in the rice, maize and horticulture value chains across six states in the country.

Jones stated that the plan aligns with President Joe Biden’s commitment to enhancing food security in Nigeria.

The director mentioned that USAID is eager to collaborate with the Nigerian government, particularly the Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI), to develop the technology and infrastructure necessary to reduce post-harvest losses in Nigeria.

Jones also noted the timeliness of the conference, given the escalating food insecurity, as food price inflation rate exceeds 40% in Nigeria amid rising cost of living.

During the conference, Prof. Garba Sharubutu, Executive Secretary of the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), said the focus has been predominantly on food production while post-harvest activities have been overlooked.

He emphasized that the conference marks the start of an initiative to raise awareness among the public, government, and farmers on the importance of post-harvest activities.