The Executive Director, Dr Abayomi Olaniyan, National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT), on Monday, said Nigeria should intensify efforts in Agricultural value chain development to optimise returns from investment.
Olaniyan told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan that this would help to avert hunger and cushion the effect of COVID-19 in the country.
He underscored the need to make sure that qualitative inputs were available for small holder farmers because they form the bulk of producers in the country.
According to him, the government should support agricultural production activities by subsidising input to stakeholders.
Olaniyan said that there was need to put in place appropriate post-harvest practices to reduce losses of whatever was being produced and strengthened supply chain of agricultural commodities.
He said that it was necessary for the government to prioritise the agricultural system as an essential service.
Olaniyan also urged the government to ensure adequate and timely supply of agricultural inputs to farmers and institute a mechanism that would improve efficiency of agricultural supply chain.
“Adequate credit facilities should be made available and a mechanism should be put in place to ensure that the facilities are provided to farmers.
“There should be deliberate effort to promote access to storage facilities and post-harvest technologies, development of market infrastructure.
”There is also need for the government to promote youth involvement in agricultural value chain.
“There is need for adequate irrigation system to be put in place to ensure all year round farming as well as capacity building of stakeholders in agricultural value chain.
”Development of cottage industries most especially in the rural areas to enhance value-addition and income of the stakeholders are important,” he said.
Olaniyan said that strenthening of the research and extension system to improve dissemination of improved technologies to the stakeholders in agricultural value chain was also necessary.
He advised Farmers to switch to improved planting materials available in various Agricultural Research Institutes and use improved technologies developed from research findings.
The executive director advised farmers to always prioritise information being disseminated by various agricultural research institutes to boost production.
He said that farmers should always adopt recommended post-harvest practices given by Research Institutions.
According to him, to ensure food sufficiency, NIHORT develops rapid multiplication of improve planting material of Plantain/Banana, Pineapple and Irvingia through simple technology from the institute and designated outgrowers.
He said that the institute ensured multiplication and availability of improved fruit seedlings of Citrus, Mango and Pawpaw to farmers.
“We made Production of improved planting materials of vegetable seeds of Tomato, Pepper, Okra, Amaranth, Celosia, Corchorus and Curcurbits for farmers.
“Also, various technologies developed such as Tuta trap Tray (TTT) and yellow sticky trap branded, “NIHORT sticky trap” will be made available to stakeholders in Pepper and Tomato value chain.
“We have value-added product developed from tomato such as tomato dried slices, puree, powder, whole peeled tomato and development of raised platform (Sun Dryer) for Tomato fruits among other achievements,” he said.
Olaniyan emphasised that all hands must be on deck to focus on other sectors aside oil to boost the economy and reduce the effect of COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
NAN reports that NIHORT had national mandate to conduct research into genetic improvement, production technologies, processing, storage, utilisation and marketing of fruits, vegetables, spices and ornamental plants of nutritional and economic importance. (NAN)
– July 27, 2020 11:19 GMT |