The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has urged the Federal Government to introduce solar powered silos across the country to boost food storage and reserve system.
Dr Femi Oke, AFAN’s Chairman in Lagos State and South-West Zone, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos.
Oke said solar powered silos would increase food security if introduced.
He noted that solar powered silos was well known in many developed countries and urged the government to key into it.
Oke explained that solar powered silos had become necessary in the country due to epileptic power supply.
“Despite the fact that we have travelled far and near, we have not seen it in government owned storage facility.
“A very few private sector farmers have fund to establish solar powdered silos.
“We use this opportunity to ask the Federal Government to embrace solar due to the epileptic power supply in the country.
“Having solar powered silos might be better because not every farmer can afford independent power generator,” he said.
Oke urged the government to subsidise solar powered storage facility for smallholder farmers, while urging big mechanised farmers to volunteer to have it.
The AFAN boss said the available silos were underutilised and should be revived.
According to him, if the solar system can be subsidised by the government, it will reduce the price of food commodity in the market.
“The storage facility which we have in the country are not functioning, very many are moribund and are not properly maintained.
“We are trying to appeal to our state governors, especially the South-West governors, to come on board and also support it.
“Look at the time when COVID-19 came and we never expected it, it was the little grains that was in the nation’s reserves that the Federal Government gave out as palliatives.
“Now, we don’t pray for such a thing to happen again, we definitely need to improve it.
“Government need to do more and to encourage new farmers that have functioning storage system in the country because we don’t pray for anything like what we have experienced in the past three years to happen again,” he noted.
Oke also appealed to government to establish new silos to encourage farmers to increase their production.
“As at now, the silos are not well utilised; we appeal to government at all levels to work closely in this regard.
“No farmer want to run at a loss but if there are reserves where farmers can keep the excess produce, definitely, they will be encouraged to do more.
“We are using this medium to tell the government that new silos should be established and the farmers will be happy,” he said.