‘Agric technologies, value addition key to achieving food security’
Prioritising Agriculture, value addition and availability of purchasing power have been identified as factors that can boost food security in the country.
The role of the government in providing resources to encourage farmers and processors to scale up production and processing of agricultural products while promoting local contents has also been empasised as imperative.
The foregoing was disclosed during a visit by the TETFUND Committee on Research and Development, Agriculture Thematic Group, to the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO).
Representing the Tetfund committee, Ogugua Aworh said FIIRO had played a role in industrial development in the country with regards to agricultural and food products.
“They have developed very useful products, which, unfortunately, have not been adequately appreciated by the nation. FIIRO has developed products in all aspects of food that can address nutritional problems. In weaning foods for children, FIIRO was the first to develop Soy-Ogi, and big multinationals then took a cue from it,” he said.
According to him, research institutes like FIIRO should be given all resources for research on how to build the economy, thereby encouraging the industry and creating the right environment for products to be displayed, produced, and transformed into commodities for the use of the community.
“Until these things are done, the impact of FIIRO cannot be felt,” he added.
Acting Director-General, FIIRO, Dr Agnes Asagbra, said the institute is into commercialisastion of new agricultural technologies that could help farmers, processors, and industrialists.
“Food processing companies acquire the technologies produced here and in turn, replicate what we do,” she said.
According to her, FIIRO carries out training in the six geopolitical zones, and she also emphasised the need for public-private partnership, which is projected to provide better coverage.
“From TETFUND, we have received some of the working documents which align with our industry. They have come to expose us to how to tap into getting TETFUND funds through collaboration with fellow research institutes and universities,” Asagbra added.
Representing Director-General of National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Deputy Director, Emeka Orji, said the country had been faced with challenges in optimising results, caused by lack of synergy in of various agencies.
He lauded the collaboration between FIIRO and TETFUND and said that it would bridge the gap between research, academia, and industry.
On the production of technologies, he said, “We need to upscale these products and ensure they are of global standards so that they can compete with other products in the world.”