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The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, has revealed that the country wastes about 40 per cent of its food harvest due to lack of storage facilities, an infrastructure usually provided by governments in agricultural economies.
Speaking during the flagging-off of the Nigeria Yam Export in Lagos, he was silent on what the government was doing in reducing wastages due to poor storage facilities.
According to him, “There is really no shortage; new yams will be here in two weeks. The old stock is still there everywhere and people in the market are getting worried that new yams will come and nobody will touch the old ones”.
“We actually over produce food here (in Nigeria), 30% to 40% of some of the food we produce is wasted because of poor preservation capacity.”
Business Hilights investigations revealed that out of about 30 agro silos scattered across the federation, no one is in good shape or maintained by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development which Chief Ogbeh, had been the Minister since the inception of the administration.
But in Ghana which started export of agro products including yam and beans before Nigeria, it has about 10 functional and well maintained silos by the federal government.
It would be recalled that it was due to lack of storage facilities that Nigerian beans farmers chose to be over preserving their products which later lead to the ban of Nigerian beans by the European Commission (EC). The ban handed down to Nigeria in the last two years is yet to be lifted due to no improvement caused by absence of storage facilities by the government.