39TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE AND GENERAL MEETING COMMUNIQUE
The 39th Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) held at the Imo Concorde Hotel, Owerri, Imo state, Nigeria between 13thand 16th of October, 2015. The theme was Food Industrialization; A pathway to Agribusiness Transformation.
The Conference was attended by over 500 delegates drawn from Academia, Industry,Public Organizations and Government as well as Participants from Foreign Countries.
The Conference featured Plenary, Technical ,Training and WorkshopSessions.
The Programme was declared open by the Executive Governor of Imo State His Excellency, OwelleAnayoRochasOkorocha(MON) represented by the Deputy Governor His Excellency Prince EzeMadumere. The Occasion was graced by the Deputy Governor of Kano State, His Excellency Prof. Hafiz Abubakar. The Governor of Central Bank, Mr Godwin Emefiele was equally among other notable dignitaries.
The conference observed as follows:
- That current effort by some Government in the federation to rehabilitate moribund agribusiness in Nigeria is a welcome development.
- Average budget of less than 3.8% to Agriculture and Food production and challenging land tenure hinder Agribusiness, (SMEs or Large Agribusiness).
- That the problems of inadequate electricity supply, deplorable road conditions and poor transportation facilities remain great challenge to solving the problem of Food Industrialization
- That inconsistent Government policies on Cassava inclusion has been partly responsible for seemly low investment on HQCF processing.
- That the current diversification in the use of HQCF is a welcome development in the quest for Food Industrialization, job and wealth creation.
- That NIFST as a Professional body is not pleased at the poor implementation of Government policies towards Food Industrialization which has made Nigeria to remain in stage one of development according to recent UN rating.
- That a lot of handlers lack appropriate knowledge of food and its handling but appreciates current efforts at inclusion of basic Food Hygiene and Nutrition in Teachers’ Education Curricular.
- That uncompetitive prices of locally produced goods arising from high interest charges on loans, unfavourable Government policies on taxes, levies, import and export regulation affects sustainability of local food entrepreneurship.
- That there are significant advances and research findings on improved food products and processing technologiesavailable that can be adopted by SMEs for job and wealth creation in the economy.
- That the continuous denial of charter status to Food Science and Technology Professionals is a great impediment to assuring food security, food safety and Food industrialization. Optimal welfare of the citizenry can only be accomplished when handlers of food receive appropriate training and regulation which can only be accomplished through a charter for the Food professionals.
The following recommendations are also made:
- Government should make every effort to maintain reasonable consistency in policies to ensure sustainable growth of the economy
- Government should endeavour to establish Food Scientific Officer Cadre at all State and Local Government levels to promote the extension of advances and research findings available on improved food product and processing technologies.
- Although there is apparent improvement on electric power supply, but Government is encouraged to facilitate rapid and adequate supply electric power as well as pay closer attention to road and transportation problems for continuous growth of food industrialization.
- HQCF should not be a mono product for milling and baking industries alone but diversified into various other products for enhanced profitability.
- The Conference call on the National Assembly to pass the bill for the establishment of the Nigerian Council of Food Science and Technology (NCFST).
37TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE AND GENERAL MEETING COMMUNIQUE
THE 37TH Annual Conference and General Meeting of NIFST took place in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory from 22nd -26th October, 2013. The Conference with the theme “FOOD SAFETY: THE CRITICAL PATHWAY TO SUSTAINABLE GLOBAL COMPETITIVENESS AND PUBLIC HEALTH” was attended by over one thousand participants from Government, Acadamia/Research, Private sector /Industry/Trade, Press and the general public across the Nation and beyond. After exhaustive deliberations on the issues related to the theme, participants agreed on the following observations and recommendations:
- The Food supply chain from farm-to-table in Nigeria is undergoing considerable positive transformation but at a very slow pace.
- About 70% of our population are engaged as rural small scale farmers, recent trends however indicate that Nigeria is experiencing an increase in the establishment of cottage and small scale food enterprises.
- Food vendors, backyard farm practices and similar food trade, provides employment opportunities for urban and pre-urban unemployed.
- However, most of those involved in these emerging businesses are ignorant of the principles and importance of globally accepted food safety practices, thus creating risk concerns for local and international consumers.
- Food Safety management is playing an increasingly dominant role in governance globally in view of its impact on public health, Agriculture, Trade and Investment, Poverty, Hunger and Tourism.
- No country can therefore afford to ignore the current and emerging trends in food safety if it is to remain competitive among the committee of Nations.
- It is noteworthy that the Federal Government is proposing a National Policy on Food Safety which is intended to provide the tools needed to protect the public while meeting International expectations.
- The recently established Department of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition in NAFDAC to give food safety issues the needed Government commitment in the transformation Agenda is commendable.
- Nigeria currently operates a multiple agency Food Safety control system where the enactment and enforcement of relevant food Safety Laws and Regulation between various agencies are not only fragmented but cumbersome, uncoordinated and ineffective.
- Therefore there is the need for the development of a unified food safety policy and implementation strategy to realign our National Food Safety practices to be in line with global trends and best practices. Nigeria has been unable to meet the MDGs 4 and 5 goals partly due to health issues arising from consumption of unsafe foods and causing high infant, child and maternal mortality.
A. As a matter of urgency, the Nigerian Government should establish a unified policy and legislation on food Safety and provide an adequate framework for the monitoring and enforcement of Food Safety Laws (issues, systems and regulations)
B. Establish food fortification program and legislation to strengthen food fortification training program, monitoring and evaluation at all levels. Government and the private sector should engage qualified Food Science and Technology professionals to monitor and enforce Food safety laws and issues.
C. The president and commander in chief of the Nigerian armed forces, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is requested to kindly give accent to the establishment of the Nigerian Council of Food Science and Technology bill so as to ensure that properly trained and registered professionals are engaged in the critical control areas of food safety, monitoring and enforcement.
The relevant government agencies should be supported to promote the production of food products that meet the required quality standards for international trade.
Prof. Lateef O. Sanni (FNIFST) …………………………………………Mr Adedola Adeboye
National President …………………………………………………………… National Secretary
36TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE AND GENERAL MEETING COMMUNIQUE
The 36th Annual Conference and General Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) was held at the Conference Centre of the University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos State from 15th – 19th October, 2012. During the event, diverse stakeholder groups and individuals in the food industry, academia and policy makers met and rubbed minds on contemporary issues in the food and nutrition industry in the country and to chart a course for future development. The theme of the Conference was, “Food, Nutrition and Wellness: Key to National Transformation Agenda”.
- The Conference commended the Federal Government’s National Agricultural Transformation Agenda (NATA), describing it as the needed “catalyst” for achieving Food Security. It however regrets the non-inclusion of relevant professionals and stakeholder bodies while packaging the concept; a missing link that could threaten the effectiveness and sustainability of the programme; noting that the document placed very low emphasis on food processing, value addition and sustained training (capacity building) of agricultural practitioners- all of which are motive forces that drive and intensify Agricultural productivity.
- The conference also decried the present state of food and nutrition insecurity in the country where more than half of the population (53%) is malnourished; in spite of the availability of vast arable lands, human resources and agricultural output.
- The dearth of commercial processing businesses and poor road network between farmers, processors and consumers and limited access to funding were identified as key causes of post harvest losses. Also, lack of appropriate technology by industry contributes to the inconsistent quality of processed foods.
- Inconsistencies in Government policies and programmes and lack of infrastructure hamper the profitability and stability of AGRO-BASED industries.
- The devastating effects of recent flood disasters on farmlands and infrastructures (Electricity, clean water, storage facilities, roads etc) will worsen the state of food insecurity in the country and worsen health challenges.
- The President and Commander – In – Chief of Nigerian Armed Forces, His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, is humbly requested to give accent to the bill for the establishment of the Nigerian Council of Food Science and Technology; and to ensure that only properly trained and registered professionals are engaged in the critical points of Nigerian food supply chain in order to meet the objectives of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda.
- Relevant organizations such as Nigerian Institute of Food Science & Technology (NIFST), Raw materials research and development council (RMRDC), Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), Agricultural Research Institutes, Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), National Agency For Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Financial Institutions, etc should network to ensure the successful implementation of NATA.
- The Federal and State Governments should partner with various NGOS such as GAIN, who are working on Nutritional and wellness intervention for the under-privileged, to actualize their goals on the alleviation of micronutrient malnutrition. The different tiers of Government (Federal, State and L.G.A.) should put in place plans for the production and adequate distribution of enriched/fortified foods and supplements; and incorporate food diversification programmes into their food security agenda.
- The Institute is still urging that the Federal and State Ministries of Agriculture establish Directorates of Post harvest Technology to be headed by qualified Food Technologists.
- NIFST Strongly advocates the review and implementation of the National Policy of Food hygiene and Safety; to promote the adoption of International best food practices in food handling.
- Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs) are the pillars of any economy and should be supported to establish food processing enterprises that will spawn new jobs and alleviate poverty.
- The Government should take urgent steps to halt the displacement of qualified Nigerians by foreigners in food companies and to ensure that expatriates are not placed on jobs for which there are qualified Nigerians.
- Government at all levels should engage qualified professionals to keep SMEs up to speed with emerging technology and issues that will enhance the capacity of indigenous food processors.
Federal, States and LGAs should take immediate and necessary steps to ameliorate the effect of recent flood disaster on food security.
Prof. Lateef O. Sanni (FNIFST) …………………………………………Dr Filli K .B
National President …………………………………………………………… National Secretary
35TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE AND GENERAL MEETING COMMUNIQUE
The 35th Annual Conference and General Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) took place in Makurdi, Benue State, “The Food Basket of the Nation”, from 10th – 14thOctober 2011.
The Conference with the theme “Value Addition to Nigerian Food Raw Materials: A Panacea for National Food Security and Poverty Reduction” drew over 500 participants from Government Ministries/Agencies, Tertiary Institutions, Industries, Research Institutes, the press and the general public across the entire Nation.
The conference observations were as follows:
2.1 Nigeria looses in excess of 10 million tonnes of grain equivalent of food per annum conservatively estimated at over N825 billion per annum to spoilage and wastage occasioned by the lack of post harvest management.
2.2 According to the 2010 MDG report, 29% to 33% of Nigerians lived below the poverty line/ hunger threshold between 2000 and 2009.
2.3 The infrastructure in Nigeria being grossly inadequate or non-existent constitutes a major cause for huge post-harvest losses, estimated at 40% of the produce.
2.4 Major constraints to value-addition are lack of appropriate technology, inconsistent quality, poor linkages between producers and processors, limited access to funding and inadequate infrastructure
2.5 Critical challenges of food security and poverty reduction include inability to orient production, marketing and distribution towards the consumer needs and preferences.
2.6 Nigeria ranks as the world’s highest producer of cassava with about 34 million metric tonnes per annum yet the position of this country as a producer of cassava starch, flour, chips, pellets and other derivative products is almost non-existent globally.
2.7 Rice and other traditional cereals have the potential to be produced in appreciable quantities for domestic consumption and for export given the enabling environment.
2.8 Lack of application of Food Biotechnology tools to the Nigerian Agricultural sector hinders the achievement of food security and poverty reduction.
2.9 The improper use of inputs such as hazardous agro-chemicals and inappropriate packaging materials is counter-productive and poses environmental and health threats.
2.10 Small and medium scale enterprises face challenges including lack of capital, difficult marketing/economic environment as well as difficulties of adapting to the modern technology required to overcome the challenges posed by climate change.
2.11 Youth unemployment estimated at over 20% of the labour force is one of the major drivers of poverty problems in Nigeria
2.12 Inconsistencies in Government policies on importation, tariffs, waivers, local content and
standardization have made it difficult to establish agro-based businesses in Nigeria.
The Conference recommends as follows:
- The Bill for the establishment of the Nigerian Council of Food Science and Technology presently awaiting Presidential assent should be signed into law without delay to ensure that only properly trained and registered professionals are involved in critical points of the Nigerian food supply chain.
- The Present Ministries of Agriculture at the Federal and State levels should be renamed as Ministry of Food and Agriculture in order to emphasize the need for post-harvest management and value addition.
- The renamed Ministries of Food and Agriculture should establish a Department of Post Harvest Technology at the Federal level and Divisions of Post Harvest Technology for States with the appointment of qualified and experienced Food Technologists as Directors.
- Each Local Government and State ADP should appoint at least one Professional Food Scientist/ Technologist as an Agro- Processing Extension Officer.
- Food Science and Technology Youth Corpers should be mobilized as agro-processing officers in each Local Government.
- Relevant Organizations such as NIFST, Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO) and Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI) should collaborate to ensure the design and implementation of this arrangement.
- Increased investment in Infrastructure (Power, Roads, etc) will aid in positively influencing value addition and poverty reduction in the long term.
- Industrial Clusters can be used to enhance the capacity of SMEs to access funding, promote employment, wealth creation and food security.
- The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) financing intervention programmes that include Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme (ACGS), Interest Draw back Programme (IDP), the Entrepreneurial Development Centres ( EDCs), Small and Medium Enterprises Guarantee Scheme (SMECGS), etc deserve wider publicity sustainability and dedicated implementation in order to reduce youth unemployment and ensure vision 20-20-20.
- NIFST recommends a stakeholders meeting to examine the desirability of banning the importation of rice in order to boost local production of same.
- Linkage between Research Organizations and Industry should be strengthened through constant dialogue and funding to ensure value addition to agricultural raw materials for enhanced food security and sustainable development.
NIFST appreciates the numerous organizations that have made significant contributions to the success of this National Conference, in particular the Benue state Government, for fostering a partnership with her towards developing programmes and projects on food processing and general food security.
Dr. John Obiora Onoura…………………………………………………………… Dr. Kalep Bulus Filli
National President ………………………………………………………………………….National Secretary
34TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING COMMUNIQUÉ
The 34th Annual Conference and General Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) was held at the Presidential Hotel and River State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt from 18th – 22nd October 2010. Food Scientists and Technologists from the Food industry, the academia, research institutes, government ministries, organizations and agencies, international organizations as well as prominent personalities including the Honourable Minister for Science and Technology, Prof. Mohammed Abubakar K’oje deliberated on a wide number of issues under the theme: FOOD SECURITY FOR PEACE AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN THE NIGER DELTA and made the following observations and recommendations.
1. The Niger Delta area of Nigeria has been plagued with social, economic and environmental setbacks resulting in prolonged civil unrest.
2. Prior to oil exploration, Niger Delta was a peaceful area with vast agricultural potentials.
3. Oil exploration and production in the area resulted in severe environmental pollution and degradation which led to the disruption of agricultural activities, the major source of livelihood for the populace. This situation has been worsened by the current climatic change.
4. Loss of the major means of livelihood led to unemployment, hunger, poverty and civil unrest.
5. Loss of agricultural activities including post harvest food processing worsened the unemployment and food insecurity.
6. Neglect in the provision of basic infrastructure in the area, retarded development of food industries that could have promoted the socio-economic growth.
7. Conference commends the initiative of the Federal Government in the establishment of the Niger Delta Commission (NDDC), the Ministry of Niger Delta as well as the Amnesty Programme as a means of bringing lasting peace to the area.
In view of the above observations, the conference hereby recommends as follows:
1. An accelerated implementation of the Niger Delta Development Plan.
2 Environmental remediation to restore and sustain agricultural productivity.
3. Creating enabling environment for agro processing industries to stimulate sustainable socio-economic growth.
4. Provision of infrastructure such as power, good roads and potable water to ensure sustainable agro processing industries in order to reduce the Nation’s dependence on oil.
5. The involvement of NIFST for the development and application of appropriate technology for the processing of indigenous food products in the Niger Delta.
6. The empowerment of women in agriculture and food processing in the rural communities of the Niger Delta through the provision of land, capital, extension services and other inputs.
7. While commending the Federal Government for the amnesty initiatives, we recommend the inclusion of food processing activities in the post amnesty programmes.
Dr. P. E. Okechukwu
Chairman Communiqué Drafting committee
33RD ANNUAL CONFERENCE AND GENERAL COMMUNIQUE
The 33rd Annual Conference and General Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) was held in the Adamawa state capital, Yola from the 12th -16th October 2009. Food Scientists and Technologists from the food industry, the academia, government ministries, organizations and agencies, international organizations as well as prominent personalities including the Executive Governor of Adamawa State, Vice Admiral Murtala Nyako (Rtd.) deliberated on a wide number of issues under the theme: Food Processing in the Semi- arid Regions: Challenges and Opportunities and made the following observations and recommendations.
- The semi arid regions of Nigeria cover about 35 million ha and encompass Borno, Yobe , Adamawa, Gombe, Bauchi, Jigawa, Kano, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, Kastina, and Kaduna states.
- Important staple food products from the region are millet, sorghum, cowpea, groundnut, fruits and vegetables, cotton, gum Arabic and livestock.
- About 90% of the land would require irrigation for full productive capacity in vegetables, rice and wheat.
- The area is characterized by desertification and low rainfall leading to low productivity in cereals and livestock.
- The region has a low level of industrialization, a high level of poverty, malnutrition and unemployment.
- A wide variety of traditional foods consumed in the region presently lack value additions that can attract wealth and positively affect the economic status of the people.
- There is a low level of SMEs engaged in food processing because of poor infrastructure, inadequate capital, obsolete technology, inadequate linkages between universities, polytechnics research institutes, and local farmers.
- Absence of an effective marketing system for price stability of value added products.
- Inability to access funds due to illiteracy and ignorance as well as unfriendly banking requirements.
- Low agricultural production coupled with high post harvest losses are challenges to food security in the region and Nigeria.
- The model for development of small and medium scale food production and processing enterprises in Adamawa State is suitable for a developing economy like Nigeria.
- The conference noted the importance of SMEs in food processing as engines for economic growth in alleviating poverty and ensuring food security and therefore recommends the mobilization of resources and all stakeholders towards the establishment of SMEs particularly in the rural areas.
- Governments at all levels are urged to provide technical assistance, concessional finance and subsidy for upgrading cottage / household establishments to SMEs.
- Provision and improvements in critical infrastructure (power, water, roads, etc.) to promote and sustain the establishment and expansion of SMEs in rural communities.
- Government funding for food processing research for development efforts should be increased with emphasis on community based SMEs.
- Government is enjoined to create and sustain marketing opportunities for ensuring price stability for new value added products.
- There is a need for a more holistic and comprehensive approach to encourage entrepreneurship and innovative presentation of indigenous food products that can enhance income and generate employment.
- Immediate action should be taken to establish clusters of integrated food processing units to take full advantage of technical assistance, extension services, water treatment facilities, water supply etc.
- Transparent, realistic and practical measures are required to ensure easy access by genuine food processors to intervention funds and bank credits.
- The Adamawa example for development of SMEs should serve as a model for other states in Nigeria.
- NIFST, government and other stakeholders must partner to foster the development of enterprises that will enhance value addition to indigenous food products.
Egbewole O.A …………………………………….. Adesegha Olubukola
National Secretary ……………………………………..National Publicity Secretary
24TH ANNUAL NIFST CONFERENCE
The Nigerian institute of food science and technology held her 24th annual Conference\Annual General meeting at the federal polytechnic and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa university between 20 the and 25 the November, 2002.
At the end of the plenary and technical sessions, participants observed and resolved as follow:
* Many Nigeria are living under poverty line despite the fact that more than 70% are engaged in Agriculture.
* The present level of post harvest losses of agricultural produce is alarming and disturbing and need urgent intervention.
* We observed that government is in the process formulating a national policy on food security.
* We observed hat inconsistencies in government policy implementation and leadership are major factors militating against effective post harvest control in the country.
* Federal government should provide enabling environment for promoting and sustaining efficient post harvest handling practices for commodities such as roots, tubers, etc., where post harvest losses are very high.
* The federal government should support the establishment of strategic atmosphere storage facilities in designated area of the country for horticultural produce with the same vigor employed on cereals and grains.
* Federal government should promote outreach programmes between the institute and various local government agricultural programmes for the establishment of cottage food industries in Nigeria.
* The institute is appealing to the federal government of Nigeria, especially office of the special adviser on food security, facilitate the process of acquiring ï¿½charter statusï¿½ as urgently as possible, to enable the institute play a more significant role in food security and poverty alleviation programme of the present administration.
* The ministry of science and technology should set up a committee to co-ordinate the compilation of available research equipment, findings and new innovations for possible adaptation in the country.
23rd ANNUAL NIFST CONFERENCE COMMUNIQUE
The 23rd Annual Conference and General Meeting of the Nigeria Institute of Food science and Technology (NIFST) was held at the Raw Materials Research and Development Council, Abuja, form 25th-27thOctober, 1999.
The theme of the conference was Post Harvest Loss Reduction: Setting the Agenda for Food Security in Nigeria for the coming Millennium.
Participants at the conference included Government functionaries, Industrialists, Researcher from Institutions of Higher Learning and Government Parastatals.
2. The conference made the following observations that:
- NIFST Had over the past twenty-three years been focusing, on a yearly basis, on various problems of food insecurity in Nigeria.
- Effort of government is commendable on the approval of the National policy on Food and Nutrition but that not much can be achieved with the policy implementation if the implementation Committee is based in the National Planning Commission as it is presently.
- Government has not been making use of research findings in solving problems of Post Harvest losses.
- Government Policy and absence of regulations in agricultural Produce (such as Kola nut, Cocoa and Groundnut) export trade has resulted in loss of goodwill that Nigeria had enjoyed in the past.
- Important of staples, like maize and rice is brought about by the fact that attention at improving agricultural production had always concentrated on increasing crop production per say, thus, emphasis is being placed on intensive land clearing, fertilizer distribution and other inputs, all at highly subsidized prices, with little attention on storage and preservation.
- Investment capital is the pivot around Post Harvest loss prevention revolves, and that what is required is an environment conducive for processing have remained in the hands of peasant farmers using primitive techniques that are grossly inefficient, largely unsafe and invariable uneconomical.
- Nigeria does not have a National Food Resources Information System that will ensure a coordinated National Food Marketing Infrastructure.
- The nation does not have a Technical Assistance Programme designed to achieve coordination and cooperation in all agricultural issue.
- There is not coordinated and sustainable food processing technological development.
- There is the absence of a recognize the practice of the food profession in Nigeria.
3. Thee conference therefore recommends as follows that:
- Government should pay better attention to suggestions emanating form NIFST’s yearly communiqués
- A National Food and Nutrition Planning Commission should be set-up as a matter of urgency under the supervision of the Presidency. This commission should be manned by Food Professionals and not government bureaucrats.
- Government should make use of technical information available in our Research Institute and through the information network on post harvest operations, a dedicated website created by Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO)
- Government should be more consistent in policy implementation and regulatory activities on agricultural produce.
- Government should invest more on appropriate technology for the handling and post harvest processing of agricultural produce.
* Government should provide the necessary capital to embark on improved
Food production and processing activities by establishing an industrial bank which will source its capital base from unclaimed dividends by share holders. The bank could give out loans at very low interest rates (between 3 to 5 %.)
* Nigeria needs an efficient national food resources information system to be put in place immediately by government. This will facilitate the development of a viable national food marketing infrastructure
* The nation needs a technical assistance programme that will coordinate and cooperate on all agricultural issues.
* There is a need to establish centers of excellence to coordinate food. Processing and technology development.
* Government must without further delay pass a legislation establishing the institute of food science and technology of Nigeria, a council that will regulate the practice of food profession in the country.
22ND ANNUAL NIFST CONFERENCE COMMUNIQUE
The theme of the conference was FOOD SECURITY AND SURVIVAL OF FOOD AND AGRO-ALLIED INDUSTRY IN THE NEXT MILLENNIUM. Participants were drawn from the Academia, Research Institute, Food and Allied Industries. Practicing big time Farmers, Government Agencies, Financial Institutions, non-Governmental Organizations, publics and the Press.
The conference discussed the following:
- Problem of sustaining a healthy Nigeria population in the next Millennium through improved and sustainable agriculture production and post-Harvest loss prevention strategies.
- Proper food safety measure and control.
- Manufacture and availability of processed foods with added health promoting qualities.
- Development of viable small and medium-scale and agro-allied industries sector in Nigeria.
At the end of the conference it was revolved that researchers and development professional/ researchers should:
- Support Government by focusing their research activities on areas relevant to food security and promotion of good health.
- Get involved in government and non- governmental programs through the various organs aimed at ensuring food sufficiency.
- Invest a reasonable part of their profit in research and development to complement governments effort in these areas.
- Encourage local research initiatives and efforts.
- Emphasize more on functional foods with added health-promoting qualities
- Be more committed to nutrition education so that they can be more informed in healthy food choices.
- Think more of safety in their choice of street foods especially in this period of economic hardship.
- Provide credit facilities to the would-be small and medium scale food manufacturers through co-operative associated with programme like family economic advancement programme (fear) and agricultural development banks.
- Establish more incubator centers solely for food processing entrepreneur to facilitate growth in this sector and reduce bottlenecks created by multiple government regulatory agencies in getting real products registered.
- Recognize and engage the existing indigenous expertise in the Nigeria institute of food science and technology when formulation policies on foods-related matters.
- Encourage production of better functional foods through the promulgation of necessary food and nutritional policies and guidelines.
21ST ANNUAL NIFST CONFERENCE COMMUNIQUE
The Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) held her 21st Annual Conference/General Meeting on the theme: DEVELOPING A VIABLE AND SUSTAINABLE FOOD AND AGRO-ALLIED INDUSTRY IN NIGERIA BY THE YEAR 2010 at UYO, Akwa-Ibom State from the 27th to the 30th of October 1997.
Participants were drawn from the Government, Food Industries, International Organization Research Centres, Academic, Government Regulatory Agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) press and the public. Lead papers presented by experts covered areas such as:- Post-harvest technology, food processing and production, optimum capacity building and utilization, food security and availability strategic, etc.
Problem of developing viable and sustainable food agro-allied industries in Nigeria by the year 2010 were x-ray and highlighted solutions as follow-up strategies to the identified problems were proposed to all the key players and major actors in the food web.
The following resolutions were made at the end of the conference; viz:
GOVERNMENT – FEDERAL AND STATE
That, government should
- Designate more land for agriculture
- Providing more subsidy for organic fertilizers and agro-allied chemical such as Pesticides.
- Providing credit facilities through designated agricultural development banks to practicing farmers.
- providing more industrial and Food Processing Incubation Centre with free basic amenities for a period of at least five years per potential entrepreneur.
- Streamline the number of and or the activities of regulatory agencies in order to avoid duplication of roles and to avoid frustrating entrepreneurs.
- Continue be support and financing of research and Development in the are of improved crop yield and more importantly, emphasize on post harvest processing of food to minimize wastage.
- Cut down on the massive importation of Food, in order to encourage local development.
- Recognize the existence of exports within its country, who are members of NIFST to release the goal of food Security.
INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATING AGENCIES
That all international collaborating agencies such as UNDP, UNIDO, FAO, etc should:
- Provide technical supports using mainly Nigerian exports.
- Providing to designated centers/sites in the rural areas, sustainable modern model plants, machinery, equipments and unit operation systems that local fabricators can copy rather than obsolete models.
- Involve the beneficiaries more in project formulation and implementation after studying their needs.
That, the private sector should:
- Compulsorily invest part of their declared profit in Research and Development rather than abandon R & D to the Government and that funds so invested should be taxed deductible.
- Make good and effective use of local Researchers and Research Centres and the research results emanating there from.
- Contribution towards the training of Food Scientist and Technologists in our tertiary Institutions towards achieving self-sufficiency.
That the Regulatory agencies, such as NAFDAC,SON, FEPA, etc should:
- Cut down o n the long process of product assessment and evaluation prior to registration of product to avoid frustrating processing and manufacturing industries.
- Continue acting as advisers and good supervisor so as to achieve production of quality products in Nigeria.
That local Fabricators should be more careful in copying foreign equipment ensuring quality products that will be easy to clean and maintain.
That Professionals and researchers involved in food and agro-allied areas should.
- Channel more energy and efforts easily adapted and applicable researchers rather than basic researchers
- Support government in ensuring food sufficiently in Nigeria by offering objectives constructive and useful professional advice whenever the need arises .
- Get involved in government and non- government programs such as FEAP, Training of Armed force officers, wives on food and Agro-allied processing etc to achieve the desired goal of food security in Nigeria.