The Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology has said that the market potential of Nigerian spices and seasonings are being frustrated by the challenges of adulteration, poor and inconsistent quality, and lack of compliance with food safety and regulatory standards.
It also advised Nigerians to change their dietary habits, stressing the need to eat what is grown in the country.
The NIFST said this at its 38th annual conference and general meeting held in Lagos recently.
In a communiqué jointly signed by the National President, Dr. Chijioke Osuji, and the National Secretary, Mr. Dola Adeboye, the association noted that the lack of collaboration, coordination and partnership among the stakeholders in the food value chain was responsible for the poor development of successful food value entrepreneurship.
Members also urged the government to ensure the passing into law of the bill for the establishment of National Council of Food Science and Technology, which would serve as a blueprint for the regulation of the food science and technology profession in the country.
The association lamented that about 41 per cent of Nigerian children under the age of five were stunted, despite the promotion of entrepreneurship in the utilisation of agricultural resources, which it said could ameliorate the perceived high level of malnutrition.
It commended the Federal Government for its approach to value chain development through the Agricultural Transformation Agenda, especially in the areas of cultivation of foods such as rice, cassava, sorghum and soya bean.
NIFST advocated for relevant and consistent entrepreneurial training on agribusiness in order to overcome a major problem in achieving sustainability and consistent quality of production.
It also called on the government to create an enabling environment for the private sector to grow entrepreneurship for the production and marketing of affordable high-energy and nutritionally safe foods, using local raw materials.