Food technology in its simplest yet academic definition is the application of food science to the selection, preservation, processing, packaging, distribution, and use of safe food.
It is closely related to other fields such as analytical chemistry, biotechnology, engineering, nutrition, quality control, and food safety management.
Food Technology is an essential and an imperative towards combating food insecurity.
Food Security as defined by the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security, stipulates that all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life.
Going by the above United Nations definition of the subject matter, it is evident that Nigeria falls below that standard. Asides from the poor application and insufficient application of food technology in Nigeria, the menace of insecurity and killings of farmers are indeed great threats to food security.
Food security, according to an online report composed of 4 different dimensions: food availability, food access, utilisation, and stability.
Aside from the security challenges currently facing Nigeria’s quest at the attainment of food security, there exist other factors that can negatively impact food security, including climate change. Globally, climate change will negatively impact food security and exacerbate food insecurity in vulnerable areas, such as sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
The complexity associated with climate change makes it impossible for a single technological advance, engineering solution, policy, or agreement to mitigate its impact on Nigeria or global food security. It is important to widely recognized that the food production systems and the food chain must become fully sustainable to ensure food security.
The importance of ensuring food security and creating a sustainable food production system in Nigeria should not only be a policy statement by the Government but also a deliberate involvement of experts and food technologists at creating innovative implementations of such policies and agreements.
Nigeria’s research centres and institutes with the support of Federal government grants should endeavor to brace up and provide innovations and technological breakthroughs to ensure food security.
In this regard, adoption of Relevant Food Technology will ensure Food Security in Nigeria as follows:
- Reduction of poverty in all forms in Nigeria
- End hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture;
- Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for at all ages.
The above are critical at attaining food security through the adoption of technological innovations and should remain at the forefront of the Government’s agenda for policy and regulation.
It is imperative that governments and organisations work together to find solutions to creating a sustainable food system that is protected from the impacts of climate and other threats to food security.
This will require co-operation and coordination between various stakeholders, as well as investment into funding, human capital, knowledge transfers, research, and development.
Conclusively and in the words of the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security states “that all people, at all times, should have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life.”
The above quotes from the United Nations can only be possible with full commitment, funding, and technological innovations from both private and public sectors committed to ensuring the realisation of a technological breakthrough towards the attainment of food security in Nigeria.
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