February 15, 2023 2 comments admin Categories partnership

The Centre for food technology and Research Benue State University Makurdi in collaboration with Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria hosted researchers across the world at the west and central to develop a strategy for upscaling and promotion of African indigenous foods to global standards through effective research in production, processing, storage and utilizations.

Speaking at the event which had over three hundred participants and exhibitors, the Executive Governor of Benue State, His Excellency Dr. Samuel Ortom assured of the commitment of the Benue State Government to collaborating with CEFTER-BSU to strengthen food security in the state and upscale and promote indigenous food commodities in the State. The Governor expressed the commitment of the Benue State Government to partnering with CEFTER to ensure that the communiqué arising from the Congress is given the attention it deserves.

In his remarks the Vice Chancellor, Benue state University Professor Tor Joe Iorapuu described the theme of the event as apt, timely and consistent with current realities surrounding food and nutrition security in west and central Africa.

The VC appreciated CEFTER for consistently enhancing the visibility of Benue State University in the Areas of research, international collaborations and faculty development. He wished participants at the Congress and exhibitions fruitful deliberations assuring of the Commitment of the University to pushing for the implementation of the recommendations articulated in the communiqué.

The keynote speaker at the Congress, Prof. Simon Irtwange emphasized that for African foods to attain global standards and acceptability, researchers must ensure Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), and focus their research towards Creation of Place & Form Utility through Processing to Standards, time utility during storage, replacement of hazardous pest controls measures and in reducing Postharvest losses.

The Centre Leader and Director CEFTER Dr Barnabas Ikyo while welcoming participants at the event said CEFTER’s focus is reduce postharvest losses in West and Central Africa hence the theme of this year’s congress. He explained that this year’s congress provides an opportunity for African researchers to present results of research on African indigenous foods and the use of cutting edge research approaches to improve production, value chain addition and utilization.

The congress was the second since the first one was organized in the year 2018. Researchers at the congress strongly believe that promoting African indigenous foods will not just enhance nutrition of the African populace but it will go a long way to reduce import of non essential foods on the continent thus reducing the import export deficit which is forecast to hit $115 billion in 2025.

During the opening, the Central Planning Committee Chairman of the congress, and Executive Secretary Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria, Professor Garba Hamidu Sharabutu appreciated CEFTER for the hand of fellowship to the Agricultural Research Council to collaborate and put together the event. He appreciated all those who ensured the effective implementation of the congress noting that CEFTER’s partnership is strategic, purposeful and very significant.

Highlights of the occasion were presentation of papers, panel discussions, exhibitions, side meetings of heads research institutes, meeting of Food4WA and NET-Water networks as well as interesting poster presentations.