COMMUNIQUE FOR 42ND CONFERENCE AND ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM) OF NIGERIAN INSTITUTE OF FOOD SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (NIFST) HELD BETWEEN 15TH-18TH OCTOBER, 2018 AT OLUSEGUN OBASANJO LIBRARY, ABEOKUTA, OGUN STATE
The conference, with the theme ‘Innovations in Food Science and Technology for Sustainable Economic Growth’ had participants from all parts of the country including, West African countries, South Africa, Canada and United Kingdom. The conference had a total submission of two hundred and seven (207) abstracts by groups of four hundred and sixty six (466) authors. There were nine plenary, six technical sessions, and exhibitions from various industries. Over 500 registered participants were in attendance. There was investiture of five (5) new Fellows and induction of two hundred and thirty nine new members. Participants were drawn from the academia, research institutes, regulatory bodies, industries and representative of Ogun State Government from various allied ministries. The opening ceremony coincided with the World Food Day Celebration, and was declared open by the Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Professor Felix Salako. The keynote address was delivered by Professor Ngadi, Michael from the McGill University, Canada. The hosting of the participants by the Alake of Egba Land, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, Okekenu IV was a thrilling moment.
The conference identified increasing food insecurity occasioned by increasing world population without commensurate food supply, prevalence of extreme poverty, hidden hunger, high post-harvest losses, low secondary processing of agricultural produce and seeming disconnect between the government, academia, research institutes and the industries as challenges in the food and agricultural sector. Hence the following resolutions:
- Smart farming and innovative processing through the use of information communication technology (ICT) as the future of Food research.
- Value addition to agricultural produce through improved processing technologies to enhance food security, reduce poverty and improve the livelihoods of the practitioners along the value chain.
- Government is enjoined to be proactive in granting enabling environment that will propel researchers and industries to contribute to innovative research and to strengthen collaboration. Resources should be made available to institutions to engage in quality, demand-driven synergistic research through multidisciplinary approach.
- Industries should endeavour to involve the academic and research institutions in their research and development programmes.
- Enlightenment to consumers on the nutritional quality and safety of innovative foods.
Innovation along the food value chain is the key to developing industrial competitiveness for sustainable economic growth.