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Business

47% of farmers have no access to any kind of storage facilities – SBM Intel

A recent report has revealed that 47% of farmers in Nigeria have zero access to any kind of storage facilities during harvest.

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SBM Intel, a geopolitical research and strategic communications consulting firm has revealed that 47% of farmers have zero access to any kind of storage facilities during harvest, which could rise up to as high as 60% for tubers, fruits and vegetables.

This was revealed in its report titled: “Nigerians just want to eat: Analysis of Farmers and Food Transporters challenges likely to impede National Food Security,” and seen by Nairametrics.

READ: CBN’s maize import ban: Sentiments, facts, and the way forward

On post-harvest losses 

  • “Agricultural products are easily perishable while production remains seasonal, and demand for farm produce is present throughout the year,” SBM said.

They added that bridging the gap entails adequate storage for farm produce, however, farmers of these outputs may be unable to acquire their own storage facilities.

READ: Why Tesla could overtake Apple as world’s most valuable company

Citing that the absence of storage facilities forces Nigerian farmers to sell their harvest at low prices to middlemen who own warehouses.

  • “In our survey, almost half (47%) of the farmers interviewed had no access to any kind of storage facilities. The lack of storage facilities contributes to post-harvest losses which could get as high as 60% for tubers, fruits and vegetables.”

READ: Inflation rises for 15th consecutive month

They added that lack of storage, however, is not the only factor contributing to losses, as some losses occur during harvests and “others occur while the commodities are in transit, during offloading (due to poor handling), and in varying degrees in the entire process from farm to fork.”

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The report urged that for Nigeria to avert a food security catastrophe, state and federal governments need to prevent “even higher food prices across the country through various short and long term measures.”

READ: FG announce registration of 5 million farmers for fertilizer subsidy

They said:

  • “In the immediate, the government must fully reopen land borders and end the ban on using forex to import staple crops.
  • “After placing maize on the list of items no longer eligible for foreign exchange only on 14 July 2020, the President announced the release of 30,000 tons of maize from emergency reserves on 2 September, and also gave approval to four firms for the importation of 200,000 tons of maize. This could replicate itself for items like rice and cassava in the coming months, items which millions of Nigerians depend on for sustenance.
  • “For the longer term, wider adoption of irrigation, facilitating the provision of early maturing and drought-resistant crop varieties and a switch to climate-smart agriculture is the best way to guard against crop failure and poor yields.”

READ: FG set to provide interest-free loans and agricultural inputs to farmers

On changes farmers and transporters want

  • The government should fix access roads and provide adequate transportation that is cheap, effective and efficient.
  • An efficient rail system which will reduce the cost of transporting farm produce to the markets and improve food security.
  • Security remains paramount followed by access to land and irrigation infrastructure.
  • Financing and the availability of a sizeable storage where most of their farm products can be stored.

READ: 100,000 tons of cocoa stranded at ports due to CBN documentation – Cocoa exporters

What you should know 

  • Founder and Chief Executive of Farmcrowdy Limited, Onyeka Akumah told Nairametrics that Nigeria loses N3.5 trillion to post-harvest loss every year due to the lack of proper storage facilities and the poor state of roads across the nation.
  • The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned that Nigeria has emerged as one of the countries to be most hit by a food crisis across the globe in the face of the coronavirus pandemic which had worsened the already bad situation.
  • The United Nations announced in 2020 that it will support Nigeria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo with the sum of $100 million to prevent possible famine, which it says is caused by insecurity, climate change, and poor economic environment.

READ: Nigeria’s cocoa exports to fall by $100m as prices rise in futures market

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Business

Reps to investigate train ticket racketeering after Nairametrics report

Lawmakers allegedly found that ticket racketeering is done by operators of the Abuja and Kaduna railway stations.

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Legislators in the House of Representatives are set to investigate alleged railway ticket racketeering after Nairametrics uncovered the menace in a special report in March.

The House of Representatives resolved to do this after they allegedly found that ticket racketeering activities were being carried out by operators of the Abuja and Kaduna railway stations.

READ: Nigerians lament over hike in train fare caused by black market racketeering

What lawmakers are saying about racketeering

Zayyad Ibrahim of APC from Kaduna at the plenary, on Tuesday, said:

“The e-Ticketing System for the Abuja-Kaduna train services enabled commuters to book tickets online, thus curbing ticket racketeering and the stress of purchasing tickets at the train stations.

“[We are] concerned that ticket racketeering, which the e-Ticketing System sought to eradicate, is still going on unabated, as tickets can no longer be adequately accessed online due to the mischievous activities of some people, who buy wholesale tickets and resell to passengers at exorbitant prices.

“Taking cognizance of the fact that if the activities of racketeers are not curbed, passengers will continue to be denied the privilege of accessing the train services as, sometimes, a train may leave the station without carrying the required number of passengers, because the tickets are not accessible or affordable to the majority of passengers.”

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READ: Sanwo-Olu says Lagos rail projects will cost over N100 billion

The House urged the management of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to strengthen their internal mechanisms with a view to eradicating ticket racketeering.

In his ruling, the Speaker of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, mandated the Committee on Land Transport to investigate the matter and report back within two weeks for further legislative action.

What you should know about the e-Ticketing system

The Abuja-Kaduna train services were officially commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari on 26th July 2016, to provide an alternative to road transportation in the area.

There had been a tremendous increase in passengers at Idu and Kubwa stations in Abuja, as well as at Rigasa in Kaduna, due to increased patronage following security challenges on the Abuja and Kaduna Expressway. But it appears that that the increase in passengers led to ticket-racketeering, an ugly practice.

READ: Train 7 project: NLNG reacts after NNPC, others delay decision 

On March 16, 2021, Nairametrics published a special report where Nigerians lamented over the recent hike in train fares, which many of them said was illegal.

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Aside from the difficulties and over 100% hike in the fares, most of the victims, who spoke with Nairametrics, urged the Federal Government through the Rotimi Amaechi-led Ministry of Transportation to investigate the allegations and expose the activities of the corrupt individuals involved in the menace.

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Business

Insecurity: Lagos to roll out extensive policies in May to keep the state safe

Governor Sanwo-Olu has assurred Lagos residents of his government’s intention to tackle impending security challenges in the state.

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The Lagos State Government has said that it would in the month of May roll out extensive policies to tackle impending security challenges in addition to providing far-reaching support to all security operatives to keep the state safe.

This follows the high rate of insecurity which is characterized by kidnapping, banditry, terrorism, armed robbery and so on, in different parts of the country.

This was disclosed by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday, while speaking at the 3rd session of the 34th Synod of the Diocese of Lagos, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) held at Our Saviour’s Anglican Church, Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos.

Sanwo-Olu assured that Lagos will be a state that everybody would be proud of, adding that his administration will deliver on all the THEMES six-pillars developmental agenda for ‘Greater Lagos.’

READ: Lagos takes steps to prevent third wave of Covid-19, facilities on high alert

What the Lagos State Governor is saying

Sanwo-Olu in his statement said, “Talking about security, we can say Lagos is relatively better but I sit on it and I know what we are doing and the things we need to do. We know we have issues to deal with as a country and Lagos will certainly be leading that conversation because we know how critical this State is to the nation.

“This is the melting pot for our nation where anybody can come in with a lot of aspirations and do well. Lagos is a state that gives hope to a lot of Nigerians. Lagos is a state that gives hope to all of Nigeria. So, we cannot afford anything to happen here. I can assure you with every sense of commitment that we will stop at nothing to make sure that Lagos remains safe and secure.

“In this month of May, you will see extensive pronouncements in that regard. You will see extensive policies and far-reaching support that would be given out to all our security operatives so that it is not just a talk show and film show; it is something we are committed to and we will continue to make sure that our Lagos remains safe, secure, prosperous and a place where all of you would truly be proud of.”

READ: Lagos announces the closure of Ikorodu Road inbound Anthony for 4 weeks

On some of the measures being taken by his administration to curb insecurity in the state, Governor Sanwo-Olu said “We will deal with the issue of motorcycle in systematic order and to have a human face to it, we would provide credible alternatives. We cannot throw the baby and the water away. The alternatives would be properly fashioned out before the end of the month of May.

Governor Sanwo-Olu also appealed to citizens who have buildings that are either not completed or abandoned to get a professional security company to take them over so that they can monitor and police them well instead of leaving them open for criminals as hideouts.

 

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