The Country Director of Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, Dr. Michael Ojo says preliminary research shows that Nigeria is losing up to N100 billion on post-harvest damages.
Ojo made the revelation during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on the sidelines of the just-concluded “NutriPitch”, the Nourish Nigeria Challenge.
NAN reports that the Nourish Nigeria Challenge is a programme by SBN in partnership with Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition and supported by FATE Foundation.
The programme received 140 applications for participation in the challenge from 26 states across Nigeria that were admitted into NutriPitch.
The entrepreneurs at the event were made to go through an accelerator programme which was addressed by Nutrition and Food Safety, Value Chain Analysis, Financial Management and investor readiness.
The top five competitors are, however, billed to represent Nigeria in October 2018 at the regional conference in Nairobi, Kenya.
The impact of post-harvest is a huge loss to the economy, Ojo said it was worrisome to see the volume of essential food items wasted either during transportation or unsold while some were dying of hunger.
He said: “Basically, from the research conducted, and the information we have, it reveals that half of our agricultural produce is lost, especially nutritious foods between the harvest and the consumers.
“Some of these food items also perish as a result of not being sold.
“I think no word can quantify this because over N100 billion a year is lost to post-harvest loss because of the perishability of these foods.
Ojo said: “This is a lost opportunity to those that cannot have access to those foods and to the agricultural sector at large, we really need to look inward to fight these losses.
“In spite of the fact that there are some that cannot afford these foods, yet that we are losing them in the tune of billions is a cause for concern.”