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Gov Ortom Seeks Extension Of CEFTER Grants



Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom has sought for the extension of Centre For Food Technology and Research (CEFTER) grants to enable the state address the issue of post harvest losses.

The governor made the appeal yesterday on the occasion of the first ever post-harvest Congress and Exhibition For West and Central Africa, organised by Benue State University Centre For Food Technology and Research (CEFTER) in collaboration with other partners.

Recall that Benue State University, Makurdi is one out of 10 Africa Centres of Excellence (ACE) in Nigeria and one out of 18 such Centres in West and Central Africa Sub-region which won the World Bank grant after a stiff competition involving more than 100 universities in the sub-region.

The grant worth $8million covered a period of five years to address the problems of higher education in West and Central Africa which has not been a priority for the past two decades.

The event themed, “Up scaling of post-Harvest Activities In West And Central Africa, “ is aimed at bringing the issue of post-harvest losses with its attendant economic implications.

The governor who was represented by the vice chancellor, Benue State University, Professor Msugh Moses Kembe also said that development in any nation cannot thrive without adequate security. “This bring to the fore another major agricultural set back issue which I tag, ‘pre-harvest losses.’

As we speak, most of our farmers are displaced due to farmer/herders/bandits crisis that has rocked the country with Benue State taking the biggest hit.”

He noted, “This has caused the farmers to abandon their farms un-harvested and in some cases the seedlings have completely been destroyed. There is need to find a lasting solution. Our people need to return home and continue with their farm work. In the meantime, we need support for over 180,000 IDPs from concerned persons and agencies.”