The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has enjoined farmers and processors of sorghum in Kano State and its environs to embrace constant innovations provided in the standardisation process to enable them to earn premium prices on commercialisation of high quality products.
The SON Director-General, Osita Aboloma, gave the charge in a lecture during a capacity development programme on food safety standards for food processors in Kano.
The SON lecture was delivered by the Kano and Jigawa states coordinator, Alhaji Yunusa Muhammad, on behalf of Aboloma.
In a statement signed by a senior media officer of the SON, Mrs Samson Maryam Khanisary, in Abuja, the director-general stressed the need for Nigerian farmers and regulatory agencies to continually raise the bar in quality food processing with particular reference to sorghum products.
She said the organization would continually promote product quality and safety, including those of the agro-allied sector through the elaboration, review, adoption and harmonisation of standards via stakeholders’ active involvement.
According to him, other areas of SON contribution to general trade facilitation include, product certification, management systems certification, laboratory testing, metrology services and national capacity development through the SON training services.
The training, which was organised by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), among others, was part of the Federal Government Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Program Phase 1 (ATASP -1).
In his welcome address, a commodity specialist at ICRISAT, Dr Hakeem Ajeigbe, said the objectives of the project is to enhance agricultural productivity of small and medium scale farmers, processors and improve value addition along priority value chains in the participating states by training sorghum food actors on the appropriate food safety standards and regulations.
Also in a joint-paper on harvesting, threshing, cleaning and packaging of sorghum, Ajeigbe, F.M. Akinseye and Aliyu Adinoyi of ICRISAT, said there was the need to double the efforts on production, harvesting and post-harvest activities to reduce loss and optimize returns on investments.
According to them, other post-harvest activities such as drying and storage should be given adequate and appropriate attention.