The Federal Government has inaugurated and deployed the GTR 750 mobile batch dryer with grain cleaners in a bid to tackle the challenge of post-harvest losses by farmers in Nigeria.
The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mustapha Shehuri, who inaugurated the facilities at the Project Coordinating Unit quarters of his ministry in Abuja, said the equipment would address some of the yearnings by Nigerian farmers.
He said the deployment of the grain driers, which was in its pilot stage in the Federal Capital Territory, would be replicated in all the 774 Local Government Areas across the country.
Shehuri, however, appealed to the manufacturers of the facilities to produce smaller machines that would be affordable by smallholder farmers in Nigeria.
“This is right step in the right direction, smaller technologies of this nature should be provided by the manufacturers, as 90 per cent of farmers in Nigeria are smallholder farmers. So we want machines that individual farmers can acquire,” he stated.
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On his part, the Director, Federal Department of Agricultural Extension Services, Frank Kudla, said the inauguration of the multi grain dryer was to strengthen agricultural extension service efforts.
He said the equipment would effectively promote the reduction of post-harvest losses in Nigeria and expand marketing opportunities for farmers.
“It will contribute to a better livelihood for smallholder farmers and will significantly enhance food security across the country,” Kudla stated.
He added, “Post harvest losses are the measurable reduction in quantity and quality of farm produce that make the commodity unfit or inadequate for consumption.”
He said the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development believed that the introduction of the equipment would go a long way to assist the FMARD in fulfilling its mandate of national food and nutrition security. ,
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