Lack of proper storage, high temperatures and pests responsible for food security issues in Nigeria – Segiru Momodu

One of the greatest issues facing agribusiness in Nigeria is storage. Statistics have shown that lack of adequate storage in the country is one of the major reasons there are food shortages in Nigeria. As a result, the Pest Control Association of Nigeria has called for the government and farmers to engage the services of professionals in the storage of their produce in order to reduce losses and ensure the realisation of the food security initiative of government the country. Former Director, Chemical Evaluation and Research, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Mr. Segiru Momodu, stated that the reason there are food security issues in Nigeria are as a result of food spoilage from lack of proper storage, high temperature, poor moisture and pests.

With lack of understanding of proper storage methods, there is the increased use of food preservatives, which have chemicals that are harmful to the human body, often resulting in organ failure and other diseases. Agricultural experts have also noted that lack of knowledge of good agricultural practices and wrong application of pesticides also pose environmental hazards. They have called for the need for adequate control of the use of pesticides by knowing when to withdraw the chemicals to give enough time for it to wear off before the product is sold to consumers. As consumers are becoming more health aware and conscious, it is important that farmers get acquainted with best practices for harvesting, storage and the best times to sell the products. Farmers have further also been advised to find alternative methods of pest control, such as using ashes in storage facilities.

There has been an increased trend with more consumers preferring to go to shops to but their produce than in the open markets because there is a general belief that there are safety measures put in place on how food is handled and stored. This observation was made by the President of the Pest Control Association of Nigeria, Kunle Williams. As a result, there has been a call for the government to collaborate to make the open markets safer for those who choose to shop there, as it is beneficial to both the consumers and the sellers.

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