The Nigerian Institute of Food, Science, and Technology (NIFST) has called for the use of appropriate technologies in food processing and preservation to tackle hunger, wastage and enhance economic development.
Mr. Frederick Popoola, the Chairman of NIFST Lagos Chapter, made the call during the 46th NIFST Day 2022 and the sixth Victoria Ojo Memorial Schools Debate held at Ikeja.
The theme of the event was “The Role of Food Processing and Preservation in National Development”.
He said that food processing and preservation played an integral part in ensuring that food does not go to waste, hence, the need to create more awareness to Nigerians.
The chairman said that asides from food wastage if people consumed food that was not well preserved and processed the likelihood of people falling ill or having food poisoning was high.
Popoola said: "When a crop is not properly processed, losses take place and economic returns of farmers are reduced. Inadequate processing results in poor storage, and the less produce we have the more hunger and poverty spreads in the country."
“It is essential for us to adopt the required technologies for the storage and preservation of food, “he said.
Speaking on challenges of the institute, he solicited more support from the government in terms of favourable policies that would back their activities.
” We need more recognition from the government and we want to be carried along in anything they are doing in terms of foods, so that we can assist them to achieve their goals.
On the inter-school debate competition, Popoola said that the significance of the debates was to help students both at the secondary and tertiary levels understand essential critical thinking and presentation skills.
He said that it was also held to immortalise one of the late member of the institute Victoria Ojo.
Six schools under the Lagos Chapter participated in the debate. The schools include Mainland Senior Secondary School, Fadeyi; Oke-Odo Senior High School and King Ado Senior High School. Others are Oregun Senior High School, A.U.D Comprehensive Senior College, Ota and Ikorodu Senior High School.
King Ado Senior High School came first in the debate competition, while Oke-Odo Senior High School came second and Ikorodu Senior High School came third.
The fourth, fifth and sixth positions went to Oregun Senior High School, A.U.D Comprehensive Senior College and Mainland Senior High School respectively