The Federation of Agricultural Commodity Association of Nigeria, FACAN, has resolved to transport agro products with cargo train, noting that rail mode of transportation remains the reliable means of addressing post-harvest losses as 55 per cent of food produced in Nigeria is wasted, leading to high prices of food items.
The President of FACAN, Dr Victor Iyama, while speaking with jounalists, narrated that part of the food losses happen on the road because it takes several days to transport food to the final consumers as some get spoiled through vehicle breakdown, terrible accidents and other factors.
The railway transportation is greatly under-utilized in Nigeria because of loss of railway traffic to the roads. This is caused by the advantage of direct linkages of the roads to major cities and also because it is more favored by government in its budget allocations.
Rail transportation is widely acceptable as a cheap, affordable, and safe mass transit and bulk movement system, while over dependent on road transportation is leading to heavy costs of public expenditure on repair and maintenance of roads.
According to Iyama, FACAN have been trying to get fund to construct preservative warehouses in partnership with Russia in providing technology required to build such warehouse.
Commenting on the recent Abuja-Kaduna train attack that caused loss of lives, injuries and abduction, he said the attack will not stop the association’s move for train transportation because the terrorists are out to look for human beings and that it will be difficult for them to attack cargo train.
“For now everybody is waiting after elections even the foreign partners they are not ready to stake anything but after election because the election will be the major determinant of the project, and nobody is ready to put in hundred millions of US Dollars.” He added