By Hajara Leman, Gombe.
The Federal Government on Tuesday began a two-day training of youths and women farmers in Gombe on how to curtail post-harvest losses.
The training is being conducted in collaboration with Gombe State Government.
Mrs Monilola Udoh, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, said that the training would expose farmers to innovations on reduction of post-harvest losses.
Udoh said that the ministry was leveraging technologies to assist farmers to reduce post-harvest losses since agriculture was key to Federal Government’s plans to ensure food security and job creation.
She was represented by Mr Isaac Anum, Director of Bio-resources Technology and Innovation, at the ministry.
Udoh said that the training sought to bring to participants’ consciousness what post-harvest losses were and how they affected productivity.
It would also teach the appropriate technologies that could be deployed to reduce wastes to the barest minimum, she added.
The permanent secretary described post-harvest losses as the degradation, in both quantity and quality, of agricultural produce from harvest to consumption.
“Quality losses include those that affect the nutrient/caloric composition, the acceptability and the edibility of a given product,’’ she said.
Udoh stressed that the ministry was committed to helping farmers and those in the agro-allied sector to curb post-harvest losses and enhance productivity.
In her remarks, Dr Aishatu Maigari, Gombe State Commissioner for Science Technology and Innovation. noted that 80 per cent of the state’s population was engaged in farming and agriculture-related activities.
She said that the training was timely, as government was diversifying the economy and investing more in agriculture, human capital development, science, technology and innovation.
Maigari said that Gombe State was also investing in the provision of infrastructure, as contained in its 10-year development agenda.
She called on the participants to leverage the training to improve their income and cut post-harvest losses in their communities to boost food security in the state and the country at large.
A participant, Malam Saidu Saleh, a millet farmer, told newsmen that the training would help farmers in the state to minimise losses and increase their incomes.
Saleh commended the Federal Government and the Gombe State Government for efforts at ensuring that farmers were exposed to modern technology and innovation aimed at preserving their produce.
The theme of the workshop is “Post-Harvest Technologies: Panacea to Agricultural Losses”.