Nigeria loses $8.9 billion annually to agricultural post-harvest losses as a result of poor and unsecured haulage system.
The Managing Director, Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), Aliyu Abdulhameed made this known yesterday in Abuja, when he hosted private and public sector stakeholders to a technical session aimed at developing the Secured Agricultural Commodity Transport Corridor (SAT-C), its innovative system for fixing the key challenges facing the transportation of agricultural produce and products across the country
NIRSAL’s objective for developing and proposing the SAT-C model, Abdulhameed said is to address the bottlenecks in the movement of agric produce and consequently reduce wastages resulting from late evacuation of particularly perishable produce from the farms.
“The implementation of SAT-C is envisaged to reduce the prices of food commodities, enhance food security and increase the contribution of the Agriculture Sector to Nigeria’s GDP,” he stated.
Abdulhameed enjoined participants to “take ownership of the model and make vibrant contributions to the realisation of a secured haulage system for Nigeria as it is expected to stem the tide of post-harvest losses which the Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute estimated to be $8.9 billion annually.”
The NIRSAL boss said the joint framework to be arrived at would promote a model that manages the interests of all stakeholders, while the Federal Government works on developing the necessary alternative transport infrastructure that will enhance seamless movement of produce around the country.
He pledged NIRSAL’s technical and financial support for the session throughout its duration, saying that Nigeria’s estimated population of 200 million people provides a captive market for agricultural products in Nigeria that is enough reason for big, bold steps to be taken in the Agriculture Sector in line with President Buhari’s “Eat what we grow and grow what we eat” mantra.
The Director, Agricultural Business Processing, Marketing and Investment at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Alhaji Musibau Azeez, representing the Minister, on behalf of the minister, said the ministry will support the initiative with the right policies to enable the emergence and operation of private sector haulage businesses.
Other speakers at the opening phase of the technical session, included the Commissioner of Agriculture, Kebbi State, Attahiru Maccido, representatives of the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corp and the Commandant General of the Nigeria, Security and Civil Defense Corp, as well as heads of private sector businesses and agricultural cooperatives.