The Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST)
has called on Nigerians to be
conscious of what they eat to
minimise the rising health challenges in the country.
The National President of the
institute, Mr Chijioke Osuji, made the call in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday.
Osuji said that developing food
safety consciousness would help the country to attain its
Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs), increase its food exports and ensure food security.
He said it would also help to minimise the rising health
challenges be devilling citizens
in the country and assist in boosting food safety.
According to him, the result of these in years to come, will
make our food safer for homes, ensure improved export and increased foreign
“We want food professionals and post harvest specialists to have legal empowerment and backing to help actualise the safety,’’ Osuji said.
The NIFST president stressed the need for the country to
accord priority to the job of post harvest officers to encourage and sensitise farmers to meet international
Post harvest officials according to Osuji are agriculture specialists, who guide farmers on the crops to plant and the fertiliser or chemicals that will suit a particular crop.
“If the job of a post harvest agriculture specialist is given priority, it can boost job creation.
“Even if we ignore the safety of our people, we should be mindful of the safety of the food we export.
“The international community is watching, they will not take it likely if we export food that is not safe for their citizens.
“The safety aspect is where their eyes are all the time; the man that will make you achieve that safety perimeter must be a trained post harvest man and food specialist.
“Post harvest man has a say in every part of the value chain for example, before farmers can plant, they must have the right seed, there must be right
breeder,’’ he said.
NAN reports that NIFST is the only registered non-profit
making body representing food professionals drawn from the academia, industries,
government and research Institutes in Nigeria.
Its mission is to harness the abundance of talents,
knowledge and skills among food professionals in Nigeria toward food sufficiency and good nutrition for the masses.