Professor-Akin-OmotayoNigeria and Africa at large will continue to experience post-harvest losses except an all embracing, corrective measure is urgently put in place to stem the tide.

The Director, Institute of Food Security Environmental Resources and Agricultural Research (IFSERAR,) Professor Akin Omotayo, gave the warning during an interview in his office recently. Professor Omotayo, who was visibly worried by the rising spate of post-harvest losses especially in Nigeria, noted that it was the source of the acute food insecurity in the country and on the continent. According to him, post-harvest losses are “losses incurred within and outside the farm as a result of lack of storage facilities”.

Though post-harvest losses were inevitable, he added that it could, however, be minimized using standard crop production mechanism. He identified Nigeria’s farmers’ habitual use of grains from previous harvests and uncertified seeds as the main cause of post-harvest loss. Besides, the Professor of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, also advanced lack of social amenities including good road network and storage facilities as other militating factors.

He disclosed that post-harvest loss is highly minimised in developed countries like United States, Britain, China and Brazil because they use hybrid seeds to boost yields while their farmers also operate under conducive farming environments.

Professor Omotayo however rekindled the hope that post-harvest losses were avoidable, provided government, farmers and other stakeholders were ready to engage in best agricultural practices.