The Kwara Government has resolved to boost agriculture in the state through a purposeful partnership with the Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI) and other allied agencies.
The essence of the partnership is to minimise post-harvest losses and enhance food security in the country.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Yisa Gideon, gave this hint at the flag-off distribution of improved storage facilities to vulnerable women and youths in some selected states at the NSPRI headquarters in Ilorin on Wednesday.
The event was attended by various stakeholders in agricultural sector, including farmers, processors, agricultural experts, agricultural institutions and top government officials.
While commending the institute, Gideon said the state government through the Ministry of Agriculture has the capacity to spread the innovations to grassroot farmers and also provide extension services on the usage of new equipment in order to fully achieve the intended purposes.
The commissioner noted that the storage facilities would not only benefit the vulnerable beneficiaries but also the general public, adding that the facilities will help to preserve and ensure food sufficiency across the country.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, said the facilities were imperative because post-harvest losses is one of the major problems of the Nigeria agricultural sector.
Represented by the Director, Extension Services, Mr Frank Satumani-Kuola, he disclosed that the ministry would continue to render every necessary support to enable NSPRI deliver on its mandate.
Umakhihe commended the institute for introducing innovations to the agricultural sector on a regular basis.
Earlier, the Executive Director of NSPRI, Mrs Patricia Pessu, said the facilities distribution, which is in the first phase, would boost the productivity of women involved in agricultural activities in rural areas across 19 states of the federation.
Items distributed included 1000 Iced-fish boxes, 600 NSPRI Hermertic Steel Drums, 120 NSPRI Smoking Klins and 18 Parabolic Solar Dryers.(NAN)