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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Marketing agricultural products pose challenges-Minister

      Anthony Nwakaegho/NaijaAgroNet

The absence of market information systems, poor farm level storage, poor rural roads and lack of warehouses still pose as challenges to the marketing of agricultural products.

This assertion was made by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development,MrAdewunmiAdesina during the recent  concluded conference of the Guild of Editors in Nigeria in Asaba, Delta State,  where he said that regardless whether it is crops, livestock or fisheries, the marketing of agricultural products pose challenges, as post harvest losses can be  high as 45 per cent for some agricultural commodities, especially perishables such as onions, tomatoes, fruits and horticulture product.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has completed a total of 10 new silos for strategic food reserves within one year and had expanded the silos capacity from 260,000 MT in 2011 to 1.3 million metric tons by 2012 which is a 400 per cent increase.

The Minister said that the silos are being provided under concessions to the private sector, for the establishment of world-class agricultural commodity exchanges.

Adesina said that one of the largest manufacturers of warehouses in the world, Blumberg Grains, has signed an agreement with the Ministry to invest $250 million in Nigeria as a regional hub for the manufacture and supply of modern warehouses to West African countries. 

He explained that infrastructure is which is also critical for Nigeria to become an agriculturally industrialized nation is being tackled through the establishment of Staple Crop Processing Zones, which are agro- industrial clusters, where food-manufacturing plants will be located by the private sector.

“These zones will be provided with integrated infrastructure support including power, water and roads to lower the costs of doing business. From these agro-industrial zones, processed foods, fish and livestock products will move into our urban areas. Finally, our farmers will be fully connected to markets.

“To complete the connection of our farmers to markets, we are establishing marketing corporations to coordinate all the agricultural commodity value chains in the country. They will perform market coordination functions like the former marketing boards, except that they will now be run efficiently by the private sector,” he said. 

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Pix: Minister of Agriculture and Rural Dev, MrAdewunmiAdesina

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