300 fish farmers benefit free storage, preservation facilities in Lagos

The Federal Government has presented free storage and food preservation facilities to 300 fish farmers in Lagos State to curb wastage and prevent food shortage in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the facilities were presented to the beneficiaries at the Lagos State Agricultural Development Authority (LSADA), Oko-Oba, Agege area of Lagos.

In her remarks at the presentation, Dr Patricia Pessu, Executive Director, Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI), said that NSPRI, as an agency in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, has a mandate to conduct research.

Pessu, represented by Dr Olatilewa Oladuntan, the NSPRI Zonal Coordinator, said the agency would also build capacity and disseminate research output in the post-harvest management of agricultural crops produced in Nigeria.

“In an effort to improve the post-harvest handling and safety of agricultural commodities in Nigeria to prevent wastages, our institute is distributing improved post-harvest technologies, Smoking Kiln, Ice Fish Box and Hermetic Steel Drum.

“We are giving it out freely to selected beneficiaries in the post-harvest value chain in selected states across the geopolitical zones in Nigeria.

“Smoking Kiln is an efficient technology for drying fish and meat. The use of smoking kiln ensures high quality products with permissible polyaromatic hydrocarbons.

“Ice Fish Box is a cold chain technology developed for extension of shelf-life of fresh fish, it is an effective means of handling fish for transportation, distribution, and marketing,” she said.

According to her, Hermetic Steel drum is an airtight technology developed by NSPRI for non-chemical preservation of dried crops/products such as grains, pulses, roots, tubers, fruits, vegetables, fisheries and livestock.

She said that NSPRI Steel Drum could be used at household/domestic and small-scale storage levels.

“The first phase of the handing over of these technologies to beneficiaries would begin in five states,” she said.

Pessu, however, urged the beneficiaries to make proper use of the items to curb food shortage, saying that over 50 per cent of farm produce were wasted during harvest due to lack of proper storage and preservation facilities.

Also, Dr Olalekan Pereira-Sheteolu, the Programme Manager of LSADA, thanked the federal agency for giving farmers in Lagos such facilities to enhance their fish farming and businesses.

Pereira-Sheteolu said that the new innovations from NSPRI would help the farmers and the fish farmers to preserve their crops and fishes to meet up the demand and supply in the society.

“No insect or rodents can penetrate the drums because they are build specially to preserve the crops and other food items,” he said.

According to him, five major fish farmers associations had benefitted from the gesture in the state.

He said that the Lagos State Catfish and Allied Farmers Association (LASCAFAN), Makoko Fish Processing and Sales Association, Hope Women Fish Processing, Gods time Women Group and Elepe Women Cooperative Agriculture Multipurpose Society (CAMS) were the beneficiaries in the state.

Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Alhaja Nurat Atoba, the LASCAFAN President, thanked the agency for giving the association members facilities that would enhanced fish farming in the state.

“I feel happy and elated receiving these items from the government and am sure it will go a long in helping us meet up with demand and supply in the market,” Atoba said. (NAN)

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