SON develops new standards to boost Agric products competitiveness
In a bid to promote agriculture as a viable alternative source of revenue for the country, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has coordinated the drafting of five new standards on indigenous foods to improve productivity.
In a statement made available by Senior information officer of SON, Maryam Khanisera, the ongoing development of the Standards also promotes the application of research and technology to boost the production of foods for local consumption and export.
Disclosing this view at the first technical committee (TC) meeting on food technology standards in 2019 held in Lagos, SON Director General, Osita Aboloma stated that “the development is to further the Nation’s quest to be in the forefront of promoting indigenous production of food.”
According to him, “the technical committee meeting is to also reiterate Nigerian stakeholders’ relevance in food standardisation.”
Represented by Dr Omolara Okunlola, SON Group Head, Food Technology, Aboloma advised the TC members to bring their expertise and rich experience to bear on the drafting of the Standards in order to make them practical and easily implementable by stakeholders after approval and publishing.
These according to him will provide the necessary guide to manufacturers, promote fair trade practices and assist statutory regulatory activities.
He enjoined the committee to critically consider issues bothering on food safety, food quality and fair trade practices so as not only to strengthen the economy but to enhance the productivity of the food sector.
Acodding to Okunlola the standards are “standard for packaged millet flour for pap, standard for corn pap powder, standard for packaged sorghum powder for pap, standard for fonio flour (Acha flour) and standard for Acha.”
The TC Chairman, Prof Charles Ariahu of the Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Agriculture Markurdi promised that the committee will carry out its responsibilities diligently.
He called on members of the TC to ensure strict compliance with the Standards development guidelines and endeavour to contribute their opinions and positions freely.
According to him, “some of the products to be considered are indigenous, have been in existence over the years and are already being traded across borders thus necessitate approved specifications to serve as benchmarks.”
Institutions represented at the TC meeting include Promasidor, Federal Produce Department, Consumer Protection Council (CPC), Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Osodi (FIIRO), NASCO Foods and the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
Others were the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, OLAM Foods, Institute of Public Analyst of Nigeria (IPAN), Nestle Foods and the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) while the SON provided the Secretariat.
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