BY VICTORIA ONU
FOOD Growers Association of Nigeria has announced plans to construct silo complexes across the country to curb post harvest looses.
The National President of FOGAN, Joseph Owolabi, who announced this in Abuja, noted that the Association would embark on the project to reduce the post-harvest losses suffered by its members across the country.
The country’s post-harvest losses are currently estimated at $9bn (N3.4trn based on the current official exchange rate of N380) by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.
He said that the Association in collaboration with international development partners would embark on the construction of silos in all the local government areas of the country.
Owolabi noted that the membership of the Association currently stands at three million farmers, adding that in the next two years, its membership would increase to 10 million.
As part of the measures to scale up food production and reduce high cost of food in the market, he said the Association was into a partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for the provision of fertilizers, insecticide and seedlings of affordable price to members, nationwide.
He explained further that the Association would also train the grassroots farmers in modern farming techniques; provide them with modern equipment such as tractors, and sprayers, among others.
Owolabi underscored the need for Nigerian youths to embrace agriculture, adding that the Association had begun recruitment drive for young people to create jobs.
“Efforts are on for any young farmer to have at least five hectares of land if he or she desires to farm. This practice will lead to flooding the market with food before the end of 2024.
“We shall also do all these through the cooperation and support of other non-governmental organisations, government agencies and individuals and Nigeria will maintain her position as the giant of Africa. We need to set aside corruption, ethnic, religious and tribalism sentiments,” he stated.