The Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI) has distributed post-harvest storage facilities to farmers’ groups in Ebonyi as part of its effort to reduce post-harvest losses.
The institute made the distribution on Wednesday at ADP office, KM 8 Abakaliki–Ogoja Expressway, Onuebonyi Izzi in Ebonyi.
The facilities comprised five smoking kilns, 30 iced fish boxes and 25 hermetic steel drums.
The Executive Director of NSPRI, Dr Patricia Pessu, said the new technology was an initiative of the Federal Government to reduce post-harvest losses as well as improving food production.
Pessu, represented by Dr Idorenyin Nwaehujor, Port Harcourt Zonal Coordinator of NSPRI, said the empowerment programme was to support farmers with improved post-harvest storage facilities at no cost.
She urged the farmers to utilise the facilities to effectively boost food productions.
Demonstrating how to use the facilities, Pessu explained that the smoking kiln was an efficient technology for drying fish and meat.
“Kiln will ensure high quality products with permissible polyaromatic hydrocarbons. It has 50kg capacity of fishes.
“The 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.
“The hermetic steel drum is an airtight technology developed by NSPRI for non-chemical preservation of dried crops/products such as grains, roots, tubers, fruits, vegetables, fisheries and livestock.
“The steel drum can be used in household/domestic and small-scale storage levels,” she said.
Mr Okike Onwuasoanya, Programme Manager, Agric Development Programme (ADP) in Ebonyi, thanked the institute for supplying the facilities.
Mr Emmanuel Nwankwor, one of the beneficiaries commended the Institute for empowering the farmers and pledged to utilise the storage tools.
Nwankwor, a fish farmer and a member of Akanchawa Multipurpose Cooperative, further encouraged other farmers to continue to support the federal and state government’s efforts at ensuring food security.