A professor of Home Economics and Food Science in the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ilorin, Olayinka Ramota Karim, has called for the establishment of a centre for Nigerian Traditional Foods Research and Development (CeNTFRD).
The researcher said it would serve as an outlet for a holistic approach on value addition to the traditional foods in the country.Karim, who made the call while delivering the 195th inaugural lecture of the university, said the proposed centre would also disseminate and demonstrate the research findings of universities and institutes periodically to the food processors for adoption towards adding value to the country’s agricultural food produce.
Pointing out that food production does not seem to be a challenge in the country, the inaugural lecturer said “appropriate processing and handling are the problems.”
She, therefore, stressed the need “for all government food production policies to be accompanied with pragmatic food processing issues that are capable of adding value to our agricultural food produce.”
Speaking on ‘Good Foods Yesterday Better Today Best Tomorrow,’ she said, “The foods of today and tomorrow have been carefully designed to alleviate the problems associated with hidden hunger that are responsible for dietary-related diseases and of course, a short life span.
“You are what you eat and what you eat determines your life span and to eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an act.”
The don also recommended that more funds should be made available for bottom-top research that could address the traditional food processing technologies not only for the production of good foods, but also for the enhancement of the national development.
She called on universities and research institutes to as a matter of priority endeavour to embark on innovative and problem solving studies that have community impacts rather than research that are only meant for publication and self-development.
She called for the encouragement of food processors to interact freely with the universities and adopt proven technologies and innovations on country’s traditional food systems.