The vice-president of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has virtually commissioned about 200,000-capacity Yam Storage Facility at the Zaki Biam International Yam Market in Benue State, the nation’s food basket.
Emphasizing the role of storage facilities to SMEs, Prof. Osinbajo pointed out that post harvest losses due to poor storage facilities for the nation’s agriculture produce would be a thing of the past. He admitted that the Federal Government is all out to make the poor and ordinary Nigerians have an improved well being.
“Despite the fact that Zaki Biam Yam market accounts for about 70% of yams cultivated in Nigeria, with over 200 trucks loading 2 million tubers of yams weekly, the market has had very little storage capacity and its infrastructural facilities are way behind its capacity and the size of commerce that goes on here daily. Besides, post harvest losses have been the bane of agricultural production in Nigeria. Nigeria produces 17 million tons of yam annually, but loses up to 40% on account of inadequate storage and processing facilities, Prof Osinbajo explained.”
“President Muhammadu Buhari is excited about the commissioning of the facility because a major concern for him has been that the COVID-19 crisis does not in any way disturb agriculture and the food supply chain. That we are able to commission this project in the midst of the pandemic is especially heart-warming for him,” he said.
He identified the improvement of work and trade environment for Small and Medium sized businesses through Shared Facilities, MSMES Clinics and other government interventions as critical parts of the Federal Government’s drive towards supporting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.