The Nigerian Council of Food Science and Technology (NICFST) has started the process of informing stakeholders in Kano State about the need to process and package agricultural products to according to global standards.
Professor Hafiz Abubakar, a member of the council, made remarks on this at the sensitization forum on pilot survey of food facilities (food business operations) held on Tuesday, 28 March, in selected five L.G.A’s in the state.
Hafiz said that the stakeholders meeting marks the beginning of the operations of the newly inaugurated NICFST. He also stated that NICFST, which was registered as a legal entity on October 16, 2019 by President Mohammadu Buhari’s administration, is an agency established to regulate the profession of food science and technology in Nigeria so that it meets with international best practices.
“Its vision statement is for the efficient professional management of various segments of the Nigerian food value chains and supply systems following current best scientific practices for food security.”
“To promote the highest standards in the training and practice of the food Science and Technology profession in Nigeria.”
“We now would be able to sensitize our people to add value and take good care of our food, which would have an impact on our health, as well as on our economy.
“My stake is that it is an extremely very important milestone, which I am calling on my people to cooperate, the Local Government in particular, where our populace are, where the generally low level of micro-economic activities related to food are taking place. I call on the administration to pay attention to the activities of micro support of people that will benefit from the venture.”
The Registrar/Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Veronica Eze, who was represented by Bello Kabiru, also stressed in her remarks that what stakeholders need do is to add value to agricultural products, like sorghum (dawa), which Cadbury and Nestle Foods use for the production of Bounvita and Milo, respectively.
She encouraged participants who have been invited from five Kano L.G.A’s to take the opportunity to key into Science and Technology and, not only add value to their products for exports, but also contribute towards the socio-economic development of the country.
“NiCFoST will heavily rely on the state Ministry of Health to pursue the desirable reforms in the management of food safety matters. Specifically, the regulation of food service businesses including street food vendors, caterers of all categories, market food sellers, mobile and semi mobile food sellers. NiCFoST expects the support of the State Ministry of Health in ensuring that the inspectors and regulators will be registered and licensed food scientists and technologists i.e., certified food scientists of Nigeria (CFSN). NiCFoST will work with the State Ministry of Health to develop an action plan for ensuring that this strategy is fully adopted by the States and LGAs. NiCFostwill also support the State Ministry of Health with food scientific expertise and food related scientific status summary on major or urgent matters whenever it is necessary,” Hafiz adds.