10th February, 2011
Tomato farmers in Mubi, Adamawa, have called on the state government to establish modern preservationÂ facilities for perishable agricultural produce to minimize wastages during harvest.
A cross-section of the farmers made the appeal while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) onÂ Wednesday.
The farmers said they recorded huge losses due to the absence of modern preservation facilities,Â coupled with the poor market condition in the area.
They said that the produce most affected included tomato, pepper, onion, green beans and vegetables.
Malam Ahmadu Haruna, a tomato farmer, said that the lack of modern preservation technologies wasÂ largely responsible for post harvest losses.
Haruna underscored the fact that such perishable agricultural produce could not be preserved underÂ high temperature, hence the need for specialized storage facilities.
He also called for the establishment of a tomato processing plant, to reduce wastages and provideÂ market for such perishable produce.
Aminu Iliya, a dry season farmer, noted that the absence of modern preservation technologies forcedÂ farmers to sell their commodities at low prices to avoid losses.
â€œWe are selling the produce at lower prices, as they could not be preserved beyond seven days.
â€œThe trend is seriously discouraging and therefore making perishable farming less attractive,â€ IlliyaÂ said.
He urged the state government to adopt practical measures to ensure adequate distribution ofÂ fertiliser and training of farmers on modern preservation technology.
NAN check at the Mubi market also showed that prices of the commodities had dropped significantly inÂ the past few weeks due to fresh supplies.
However, the price of onion remained high.