With the onset of the harvest season in some parts of the country, farmers have urged the federal and state governments to provide adequate storage facilities, to prevent wastage.
A survey on the prices of foodstuffs conducted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in the South-West, showed that the harvest of produce had forced down prices.
The farmers, who spoke with NAN correspondents, said that they were faced with the challenge of storage facilities for surplus produce.
NAN reports that some of the produce affected by this development included maize, yam, plantain, banana, rice, cocoyam, sweet potatoes and vegetables.
In Ekiti, Mrs Funke Olufolaju, a resident of Ifaki Ekiti in Ido/Osi Local Government Area of the state, said she was excited over the sudden reduction in the cost of some food items.
She, however, expressed fear that this relief would soon diminish after the harvest period due to the lack of storage facilities.
She recalled how the family had been finding it difficult to feed before the harvest period due to the high cost of food.
She said that the provision of storage facilities would make farm produce available and cheap at all times.
Another resident, Folakemi Mayowa, a student of the Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti, urged the Federal Government to speed up work on the silos project in Ado Ekiti, to facilitate the preservation of food crops.
Mr Emmanuel Giwa, the state Chairman of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), confirmed the downward trend in the prices of foodstuffs occasioned by the harvest.
He, however, expressed fear that this might be short-lived due to the lack of modern storage facilities.
Giwa said that farmers usually dispose of their produce fast because of the lack of storage facilities to preserve excess farm produce.
“Local farmers use chemicals to preserve their food crops but the effects of these chemicals wear off within one or two months unlike in the case of mechanised farming where farmers use silos,” Giwa said.
In Ondo State, the situation is similar as stakeholders urged relevant authorities to provide the necessary facilities that would make farming more attractive, interesting and profitable.
Mrs Bolatito Egbon, a yam seller at Oja Oba Market in Akure, urged the government to provide adequate storage facilities for farmers.
Egbon said this would go a long way in reducing the prices of food crops in the country. (NAN)