A biotechnologist, Mr Paul Orinya says the value-chain of locally harvested fruits could be boosted through fruit dehydration technology.
Orinya made this known while speaking on the export potential of dehydrated fruits in Lagos.
We farm a lot of products in the country and we find out that the farmers most times after harvest are struggling with available market and storage for their fruits produce.
We saw a niche in the market and decided to export some of these fruits in their dehydrated form to parts of the world that do not have them in excess.
Between the period of harvest and sales of most of these fruits like mangoes, pineapple, the farmers lose a lot of their produce due to poor storage and unavailability of a ready market.
With the dehydration of these fruits and the final export of them, we are improving the value chain of agricultural produce and at the same time creating income for the local farmers.
A farmer cultivating a 30-acre pineapple field will no longer need to fear loss of his produce because of the availability of a ready market for dehydrated pineapples, Orinya said.
The expert also revealed that local fruit farmers were embracing the trend and were getting more capital from the export of these dehydrated fruits.
Presently, a lot of Nigerian fruit farmers are interested in the dehydrated fruit exportation and we have people that have volunteered to be our agents.
Some pineapple farmers have shown interest in opting to form clusters that will provide fresh pineapples to be dehydrated and then exported.
Due to the processing of these fruits, the local farmers are doing more because processors buy these fruits off them completely so they do not have a fear of any damage or loss.
The food processors go to these local fruit farmers and book for the fruits ahead thereby creating capital for them.
Through the dehydration technology of these fruits, the value chain of the fruits is boosted and we create more capital for both the local farmer and the processor through export, the expert said.
Source: Voice of Nigeria