FG to use Agro-Rangers to Minimise Post-Harvest Losses
The federal government will soon come up with a new policy to curtail agricultural post-harvest losses.
It plans to minimise post-harvest losses by fixing broken agricultural value chains and increase the flow of finance to farmers.
This initiative is championed by the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL Plc) which wants to operationalize a Secured Agricultural Commodity Transport and Storage Corridor (SATS-C).
This new initiative is expected to combat post-harvest losses, create jobs and boost the contribution of the Agriculture Sector to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Some of the structures that will be included in the SATS-C initiative include: the One-Stop-Shop (OSS) Policy, the Road Crime Control System (RCCS) operated by the Federal Ministry of Transport, and the Agro Ranger Operations under the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
Already the SATS-C is being prepared as a policy document for executive consideration by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI).
Speaking at a breakfast meeting in Abuja on Thursday, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, while presenting the SATS-C initiative urged other ministries involved in the preparation of the policy document to “execute a common Client Service Charter that will enforce adherence to agreed rules and standards in a bid to accelerate the project”.
The SATS-C project he said “will bring a coherent, harmonized tax scheme to bear on Nigeria’s agricultural logistics sub-sector which is currently leaking revenue through multiple taxation, extortion and post-harvest losses.”
According to him, there are existing capacities, policies and structures that are complementary to the operational framework of the SATS-C initiative.”
The government and other stakeholders he said “intend to factor in these capabilities, policies and structure as they work on the details of the policy.”
New initiatives that must be taken on board by the team include Social Engineering, to prepare beneficiaries and users for the SATS-C: Executive/Legislative Intervention to empower MDAs to expand their mandates and capacity building for stakeholders.
Speaking to journalists after attending the meeting, NIRSAL’s Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed, said “a fully operational SATS-C policy could directly lead to a 5 percent increase in the agriculture sector’s contribution to national GDP by halving annual post-harvest losses of $12 billion”.
Further benefits, he noted, lie in the lowering of food prices, creation of 125,600 direct and indirect jobs, and the heightened possibility of adhering to standards for improved access to export, industrial and consumer markets.
Abdulhameed was optimistic that SATS-C would complement NIRSAL’s business models/concepts known as PH-P3 (Primary Production and Harvest, Primary Processing, Primary Transportation and Primary Storage) which ensures efficient production in the farms and optimum capture of value at harvest by enabling prompt evacuation of produce from farm-gates, and the subsequent haulage of commodities across the country through designated corridors.
He also noted that SATS-C’s will enable seamless movement of produce from production zones, to processing zones to markets and “would invariably upgrade agro-logistic value chains, flush blockages and usher in an era of increased flow of finance and investments into and through agricultural value chains.”