Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST) says will intensify effort in employing Research and Development in processing indigenous crops into nutritious foods. Mr Abayomi Oguntade, the Director of Bio-resource Technology Department in FMST, made this known during an interview with the Newsmen on Monday in Abuja. According to him, improving food processing is part of the effort of the government to add values to the usage of home-grown crops.
Oguntade said that researching into food process and nutrition of the native crop by the ministry was mainly carried out by an institute of the ministry – Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshidi, FIIRO. “The institute is a centre of excellence in Research and Development Innovation in food processing and nutrition using indigenous crops for promotion of consumption of healthy, nutritious and affordable foods. “Also into safe products for a hunger free society with vibrant agricultural value chain, “ he said.
The director said that research findings of the FIIRO would improve food products suitable for commercialisation by small, medium and large scale entrepreneurs. He said that agricultural waste such as cassava peel and okra had been appropriately processed and blended with conventional feed ingredients at predetermined levels for the development of a nutritious feed for a day old broiler chicks.
He said that the institute had used its food technology to produce high nutrient density biscuit, ready- to-use therapy for management of severe acute malnutrition, onion paste and value added products from indigenous onion varieties. He added that onion was one of the most important vegetables consumed in Nigeria and around the world.