The Role of Grain Storage Systems in Food Safety, Food Security and Rural Development in Northcentral Nigeria

Ahiaba, Ugbede Victor (2019) The Role of Grain Storage Systems in Food Safety, Food Security and Rural Development in Northcentral Nigeria. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire. doi:10.46289/9RE42GG8

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The quest for food security and food is global. The consequences of food insecurity, hunger and unsafe food is detrimental to the health and wellbeing of consumers. Food safety issues have legal and economic costs for food producers (farmers), manufacturers as well as retailers. For this reason, food manufacturers now source for healthy raw materials way beyond their traditional boundaries. The versatility of grains makes it the choice crop for local, national and global food security, therefore its production, processing and storage is of immense importance. Subsequently, this becomes a great opportunity for farmers from around the world, especially those from developing countries like Nigeria and rural communities in Kogi State who are mainly grain farmers. However, inefficient grain storage system is a challenge among the rural farmers in Nigeria. This causes about 60 per cent post-harvest waste of cultivated crops according to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nigeria. The empirical research has shown that post-harvest waste could be more. The inadequate storage structures forced the farmers to use pesticides with nerve agent active as ingredients; which then contaminates the stored grains, with severe unanticipated consequences on food safety and economic well-being of rural farmers. In addition, bye products of crop processing and fodders are not utilised by the farmers, they are usually burnt off. These can however, be baled for use as animal feeds, to encourage mass balance as required by Good Agricultural Practice (GAP). The study, therefore, examined the role of grain storage structures in food safety, food security on the economic development of rural farmers in Kogi State, Nigeria. The study adopted a mixed method approach utilising the questionnaire, on-site observation and interactions with key players along the grain supply chain as tools. Multistage and purposive sampling was used to select three hundred (300) rice and maize farmers spread across fifty (50) communities, making six participants per community. The results show that the storage systems and length of storage of the farm produce (maize and rice) has a significant impact on the annual income of the farmers, and only 1 per cent of the grain farmers’ population earned above the 2017 world’s poverty benchmark. The major challenges reported by the farmers included poor processing/storage facilities (43.4 %), poor sales after harvest (30.3 %) lack of agricultural credits (23.3 %) and there was also limited access to technology. The existing storage structures encourage post-harvest waste and losses, affecting the quantity and quality of stored grains, the market value and invariably the farmers’ income. Moreover, the rural grain market is erratic with several middlemen dictating the price of grains in their favour. Also, none of the farmers surveyed had access agricultural credit of any kind nor benefitted from Federal or State agricultural schemes. However, overcoming the food safety and economic challenges is only feasible by building strong rural economic institutions where food safety, food security and access to competitive markets is paramount. Hence, blending the challenges recognised in literature regarding rural farmers in Kogi State and Nigeria, with those obtained from the empirical fieldwork, and the key lessons from the case study countries, a Communal Grain Processing and Storage Model (The Communal Model) was developed. In this model, efficient and safe processing platforms and storage systems are provided within each community where all the registered farmers within the community would process and store their grains with the assistance of assigned Extension Officers from the Communal Centres. The Communal Centres also connects the rural farmers and the markets and other key stakeholders. Farmers can either have their grains sold at Guaranteed Minimum Price or stored at the Centre in anticipation of better prices in the future. Community Centres can also act as training hubs where farmers are provided with GAP components and other economic trainings. To build a robust rural institution via the Community Centres, bank accounts would be opened for the farmers (as less than 1 per cent of the farmers surveyed had bank accounts), and a Grain Card would be issued to help keep and build the farmers’ “Activity Ratings” each year. The rating can be used for economical purpose like credit assessment to determine eligibility for agricultural credit and to obtain other household items from stakeholders on flexible payments. Private firms would manage the Communal Centres in a public-private partnership with the government while the government plays a regulatory role, thereby strengthening the rural food institution, and creating opportunities for the farmers.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Additional Information: Award conferred by the University of Gloucestershire in partnership with the Royal Agricultural University.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Community; Economy; Farmers; Grains; Poverty; Rural; Storage
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
S Agriculture > SB Plant culture > SB175 Food crops
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Countryside and Community Research Institute
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2024 13:47
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2024 13:53

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