Ogun collaborates with Private sector to guarantee food security

In order to guarantee food security and minimize losses for smallholder farmers, market women, and market men in the state, the Ogun State government teamed with a private organization, Heifer International, on Friday.

To this end, the state government inaugurated a solar cold room put in place by Heifer International at the popular Kuto Market in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital where farmers and market women and men can store their perishable goods to prevent them from getting spoiled.

Speaking on behalf of the state government, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Dapo Abiodun on Agriculture, Dr Angel Adelaja-Kuye noted that almost 50 percent of what farmers produce gets spoilt, hence the need for the partnership. 

The agric expert stressed that the partnership is specifically to support farmers,  market men and women as well as providing a solution that helps to strengthen the agriculture value chain.

Adelaja-Kuye also described the relationship as part of the Governor Dapo Abiodun's administration's efforts in creating  jobs for the  people not just in the market but also in the rural communities. 

She said "It is specifically to support our farmers, our market men and women and to make sure it's one solution that helps to strengthen the agriculture value chain and the beauty about it is that it's solar, it's doesn't really on traditional energy sources and you can use it for more than vegetables you can use it for meat for drinks and so many things.

"We know in Nigeria almost 50 percent of what farmers produce get spoilt so 
We want to make sure we reduce that amount and make sure these farmers benefit, the market women must be able to benefit and the cost of food for Ogun state residents comes down so that's our strategy for food security.

She added "In having our conversation with Heifer International, it has committed to investing in tractors, investing in financing for farmers, training farmers in the field, and also for the market men and women who sell this product."

Also, the Country Director for Heifer International, Rufus Idris explained that the company poses to help solve major problems that smallholder farmers are facing in the country.

Idris noted that Nigeria is currently facing the challenge of food security, adding that a lot needs to be done to increase productivity in the country.

He said "We all know that in Nigeria today good security is a major challenge and a lot need to be done to increase our productivity as a country, right now we are currently under producing and the efficiency of our production is not too good compared to other countries in the world we are currently below international standard

"We are not doing the usual cold room. We know this is a young innovation powered through solar to create an innovative solar Cold room that can increase the life of tomatoes, pepper, vegetables and the likes from 2 days to 21 or more days and this is very innovative.

For the farmers this is an affordable innovation. We ain't using diesel that would make one charge higher we are using solar energy so they are only paying a token.

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