Institute tasks food business operators to ensure safety standard

By Olasunkanmi Onifade
Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST), FCT chapter, has called on food business operators to ensure that their inputs meet international standards.
The call is contained in a communique, signed by the President of NIFST, FCT chapter, Mrs Promise Ogbonna, at the end of the 9th Abuja Regional food summit and NIFST day celebration in Abuja, on Friday. The communique was issued on Monday.
The theme of the day is ‘Positioning Nigerian foods for global trade through sustainable safe standards, innovative processing and supply’.
The stakeholders called on food professionals to take advantage of biotechnology to add value to their products by improving crops with producer and consumer oriented traits.
The communique also called on Nigerians to harness the endowment of the country abundant agricultural produce for economic sustainability and growth and not just for consumption as food.
“The summit identified the logistical challenge faced by the local producers of agricultural produces to make their products available for the market, resulting in unquantifiable wastage.
“Government is therefore implored to more deliberate in providing support.
“The summit decried the huge reflection of Nigerian Exports and called on exporters to pay attention to sanitary and phytosanitary requirements and standards for export,” the communique added.
It identified the extensive documentation requirement for starters as a major challenge and called on the various agencies to provide active support in that regard for applicants.
It, however, encouraged the need for Nigerians to be more deliberate in ensuring restoration of confidence in producing original products from Nigeria.
“The summit called on Nigerian researchers to conduct extensive research on the biochemical agents that gives palm oil its preservative properties.
“The summit sensitised intending exporters to avail themselves of export expansion grants given by government in terms of discounts to facilitate export,” it said.
The communique also stated that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should advise exporters to take advantage of facilities such as Non-oil Export Simulation.
The summit called for a review of Food Science and Technology curriculum with the aim to include biotechnology courses to meet with current realities of the food science and technology profession.
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