Food scientists urge FG, states to allocate 26% budgets to agric
The Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) has implored the Federal Government and states to increase the budgetary allocations to the agricultural sector to about 25 per cent of the total budgets as recommended by Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).
The body also recommended a paradigm shift from traditional to commercial agriculture and enjoined street food vendors to add more quality green leafy vegetables to vended foods to encourage their consumption.
The food specialists made the calls in a communique after its 44th conference and yearly general meeting held October 14-15, 2020 in Lagos.
They also advised that the government and stakeholders should put up more enlightenment and sensitisation on safety of street vended foods (Street Foods), and advocated more collaboration and networking among key stakeholders, including industries, ministry of agriculture, higher education institutions and research institutes in traditional food development and improvement.
The conference, which has abstracts with 26 papers presented physically and virtually via zoom, served as a platform to reiterate the call of stakeholders for a backward integration system in the food and agro-allied industry.
There were plenary sessions and exhibitions from various industries at the conference. There was also an investiture of five new fellows and induction of 1,804 new members.
The conference was chaired by the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, represented by Alhaji Ibrahim Umar Yakassai.
The keynote address was delivered by the CEO/MD Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, Mr. Paul Miyonmide Gbededo, who buttressed full adoption of food industrial backward integration system and local content development, which was in alliance with the goodwill message from the conference chief host, Minister of Science & Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu.