Shehuri Lauds NSPRI Over Accreditation Attainment

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The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon. Mustapha Shehuri.
The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon. Mustapha Shehuri.

The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon. Mustapha Shehuri, has commended the Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI) for its attainment of an accreditation certificate in a bid to address the challenge of production and post-harvest losses in the agricultural sector. 

Speaking during the presentation of the International Standard Organization (ISO) Accreditation Certificate to the minister yesterday (August 11, 2022) in his office in Abuja, he said the institute has the mandate to engage in post-harvest storage research on all farm produce, animal products and fisheries inclusive, through the acquisition of enabling infrastructure, tools, equipment amongst others. 

Represented by the director, agric land and climate change management service, Engr. Shehu Bello, Shehuri disclosed that post-harvest loss was a worrisome situation that threatens food security, adding that in fruits and vegetables, it could be as high as 50-60 per cent if poorly managed.

“Unfortunately, not much attention has been paid to address the problem as much as it is done for production.” 

He added that the economic cost of post-harvest losses as reported by Action Aid indicated that N3.5 trillion was lost annually and, if not addressed would harm agricultural components. 

The minister, however, stated that it was worthy of note that the laboratory of NSPRI has been accredited as a testimony of hard work and the determination of the institute to be among the best research institutes in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Shehuri pointed out that the ISO/IEC 17025 received from ISO would be useful for various testing procedures, sampling and calibration to instil confidence in the research output.

“This ISO 1705 accreditation is proof that the ministry now has a laboratory that is acceptable for quality management system in place with the ability and competence to provide testing and calibrations results. 

“This accreditation is not for life and could be withdrawn for any stretch of sub-standard practice, hence the institute must sustain, maintain and improve on the service delivery,” he added. 

The minister, therefore, said the ministry would continue to support and ensure that the institute and other research institutes are regularly funded to execute their mandate. 

Earlier, the executive secretary, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), Prof. Garuba Sharubutu spoke about the process of obtaining certification and revealed that NSPRI was qualified to receive the accreditation certificate, having gone through the rigorous exercise and come top in their certification procedures. 

In her remarks, the executive director, Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute, Dr. Patricia Pessu commended the ministers, the executive secretary, ARCN and the committees on agriculture of the Senate and the House of Representatives for their immense guidance and support over the years. 

“This is a great feat for NSPRI because we can now boast of a laboratory where analysis and quality assurance can be done,” she said. 

A statement by the ministry’s director of information and signed by Eremah Anthonia said the immediate gain of the certification is that NSPRI can now be referred to as an institute that contributes to food security and safety in Nigeria.

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