NSPRI distributes improved agric storage facilities to over 1,000 rural women, youth

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 “The south south governors forum on anti-grazing law will stand, "September 1, 2021 anti-grazing law agreement must be enforced", "Domesticate VAT collection in Edo State”. They lamented the horror being perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen on peaceful and law-abiding people of Edo State, including the recent kidnapping of Dickson Imasogie, a PDP leader in the State. Uwadiae Odigie, chairman of the group, said they had made several efforts to send related bill to the Edo State House of Assembly but yet to yield any positive outcome. Odigie noted that while other states had prohibited open grazing, Edo State had refused to get on the bandwagon as suspected herdsmen continued to unleash terror in the state. “Now that many states within the South-South have responded to the September 1, 2021 deadline and the Fulani herdsmen are still ravaging our forests and highways with the fiercest brand of terrorism ever, with its attendant catastrophic consequences on our psyche, what is Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State waiting for?”Odigie queried. He added, “We have also been mounting pressure on Marcus Onobun, Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly on the urgent need to pass the bill on ban of open grazing in Edo State but all efforts have been abortive. “We are worried about the inability of Edo State government to respond to herdsmen who have turned the state into a sanctuary for barbarism". Receiving the group at the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Edo Council Secretariat, the Council Chairman, Sir Roland Osakwe, said that the protest tallied with the position of the Edo NUJ that the Edo State Government should follow the pace set by other southern states in promulgating laws, banning open grazing in the region. Attachments areaNigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI) Kwara State, on Tuesday, flagged off the distribution of improved storage facilities for vulnerable rural women and youth in 19 selected states in the country.

The facilities distributed in the first phase include 1,000 iced-fish boxes, 600 NSPRI hermetic steel drums, 120 NSPRI smoking kiln and 18 parabolic solar dryers.

Speaking during the event meant to popularise the programme in Ilorin, the executive director of the NSPRI, Dr Patricia Pessu, said that the institute is committed to improving food storage for a happier nation.

“We recognise that women in rural areas across Nigeria play an increasingly pivotal role in agricultural production as well as post-harvest activities. Estimates of involvement of women across the agricultural value chain range between 20 per cent to 70 per cent. So, with more support and encouragement, these hardworking women can deliver more economic value to our country, while helping to drive the government’s food security agenda.

“We also recognize that there are several vulnerable women and young people whose lives would be positively impacted if they had access to some of our innovation.

“We are confident that these facilities will boost the productivity of hordes of women involved in agricultural activities in rural areas. Also, by providing vulnerable women and young people with a decent livelihood, we trust that these facilities will not only help to ease their burdens but set them on the path of enhanced economic productivity”, she said.

Also speaking, the permanent secretary, federal ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, who said that the facilities would help prevent post-harvest losses among the beneficiaries, added that post-harvest losses are one of the major problems of the Nigeria agricultural sector.

“Food losses due to poor post-harvest technologies have potential effects on food security and nutrition. This causes a shortage of food supply, availability, access and utilization. Access to improved systems and technology is a perfect strategy in reducing food losses both at harvest, home and market”, he said.

In his goodwill message, the commissioner for Agriculture in Kwara State, Sabba Issa Gideon, said that the programme would complement the efforts of the state government at ensuring food surplus.

The commissioner, who said that the programme is capable of adding value to agriculture produce, added that it is not only for vulnerable women and youth in the rural areas but for all cadres of farmers and the populace.

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NSPRI distributes improved agric storage facilities to over 1,000 rural women, youth

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