The Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Chief Uche Nnaji Geoffrey, has said that for the country to maintain sustainable and national development, food security, safety and economic growth becomes a priority.
According to the Minister, reducing the risk of food insecurity in the country will require technological solutions towards collaborative efforts across agriculture, food science and technology, nutrition and health programmes.
The Minister said this at the commissioning ceremony of the Nigerian Council of Food Science and Technology (NiCFoST) Data Base Management Centre today in Abuja.
He further said that as the focal Government Council responsible for regulating the food Science and Technology profession, the Council will usher the country into a new era of professional practice within the food industry and the national food supply system.
Chief Nnaji also said that the regulatory framework of the Council is crucial to reducing unprofessional practices and management along the food value chain and its economic benefits, by ensuring sustainable national food security.
He stated that this is the first time in Sub-Saharan Africa that the Food Science and Technology Profession have a regulatory Council.
He emphasized that the Centre represents a collaborative effort between the Ministry and NiCFOST, reflecting shared commitment to advancing Food Science and Technology regulation in Nigeria.
To this end, Nnaji said that Nigerian food is steadily becoming popular overseas and increasingly available at local shops, adding that optimization of the benefits of these export market trends will help in economic diversification of the country.
The Minister recalled that he recently signed some certificate of registration for newly registered professionals and therefore called on all Food Science and Technology professionals to take advantage provided by the establishment Act to register with the Council.
Earlier, the Registrar of the Nigerian Council of Food Science and Technology (NiCFoST) Mrs. Veronica Nkechi Eze said that NiCFoST is a regulatory Council that was established barely 3years ago, amidst the constraints of Covid-19 Pandemic, and its mandate is to regulate the practice and profession on food Science and Technology in Nigeria.
She pointed out that one of the reasons for establishing the Council is to promote professional practices for food safety, prevent post-harvest losses, improve the competitiveness of the Nigerian food products, promote export of the country’s food as well as contribute to the overall food security of the nation.
Atuora Obed O.
DD (Press & Public Relations)
21st November, 2023.