NIFST Calls for Policies For Sustainable Agriculture, Food Security

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The Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST), Lagos State Chapter, has called on the Federal Government to implement more farmer-friendly policies to promote sustainable agricultural practices.

Mr. Olugbenga Aina, the Lagos State Chapter Chairman of NIFST, made this appeal during the 10th Regional Food Science and Technology Summit/NIFST Day celebration on Thursday in Lagos. The event’s theme is “Attaining Sufficient, Safe, and Healthy Food for Nigerians Through Food Science and Technology.”

Aina emphasized the critical role farmers play in feeding the population and highlighted the importance of providing them with the necessary resources and support to ensure national food security.

He noted that supporting farmers could help stabilize rural economies, create jobs, and contribute to overall economic growth. Aina pointed out that many farmers live in rural areas with limited economic opportunities and that government support could promote rural development.

He also stressed the need for the government to address the insecurity affecting farmers, which hinders their ability to farm. He remarked, “We need food, especially now when there is inflation, insecurity, and food hunger in the land. This is one of the reasons why we are gathered here today to discuss these issues; food safety and security are two intertwined topics that are crucial to the development of any country.”

On cholera prevention, Aina emphasized the importance of promoting good hygiene practices among communities and warned against consuming food bought from the roadside without knowing how it was prepared.

He highlighted that the environment and the kind of water used to prepare food are critical factors, and other causes of cholera include eating uncooked and contaminated foods. He advised that people should always wash their hands before eating.

Regarding empowerment, Aina noted that NIFST, through its partnerships with businesses, industries, and government agencies, had provided job opportunities for over 100 youths between last year and 2024.

In his address, NIFST National President Prof. Abu Oneh emphasized the role of academic institutions and research organizations in leading scientific research and innovations to address food security challenges. He also highlighted the crucial role of private sector partners in bringing innovation to the market and ensuring its widespread adoption.

Mrs. Taiwo Ubany, Chairperson of the Local Organizing Committee, underscored the necessity for Nigeria to achieve the production of safe and healthy foods. She pointed out that Nigeria has the resources and technology needed to ensure food safety and security but emphasized the need to harness these resources effectively.

Mrs. Veronica Alaba, NIFST Adviser, urged the government to find a lasting solution to terrorism, which hinders farmers from planting crops and has led to food inflation.

She noted that many farmers have stopped cultivating crops due to attacks, exacerbating food inflation.

Source NAN

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