The Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI) in Ilorin has inaugurated a new fish processing center, which it constructed for the Araromi-Ipo community in the Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State.
The facility was first commissioned by the governor’s technical assistant on agriculture, Abdul Qawiy Olododo, who commended the NSPRI for meaningfully impacting its immediate surroundings through various interventions.
Olododo added that the institute had contributed immensely to agricultural development and food security through numerous projects, including the construction of grain dryers and portable storage facilities, and the training and retraining of farmers across the state.
The NSPRI is mandated to reduce post-harvest losses by ensuring the quality, safety and availability of agricultural produce in the country.
NSPRI Executive Director Patricia Pessu, while delivering her welcome address, stated that the processing center’s smoking kilns have been designed, constructed and provided with all the necessary facilities, including water supply and electrical wiring, to support improved handling activities.
Speaking on behalf of the institute’s director of perishable crops research, Adeola Oyebanji, Pessu indicated that the benefit of fish processing is constrained in traditional practices, which entail contamination in unkempt processing environments, as well as poor sanitation and hygiene in the use of equipment.
She called on the benefitting community to make judicious use of the center in order to boost their fish processing activities and prevent the drudgery of fish smoking at the fire place, which produces excess smoke and above-the-limit amounts of poly aromatic hydrocarbon.
Also present at the occasion, the traditional head of the community, Chief Oyewole David Oparinola; the leader of the fish smoking stakeholders, Babatunde Ilufoye; and the coordinator for the Justice Development and Peace Mission’s Rural Developmental Programme, Emmanuel Ekundayo thanked the NSPRI for opening the center for use.