By G9ija

The Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFEST) will hold its 44th annual international conference and general meeting from October 14 to 15, 2020 at D’Podium Event Centre, Ikeja, Lagos. The theme of the conference is ‘Agro and Food Processing for Wealth Creation – the Nigerian Experience’.

“Our annual conference attracts a critical mass of about 700 participants, comprising food scientists and technologists, agribusiness and food value chain actors, network of consultants and regulatory agencies, food enthusiasts and informed consumers,” a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Dola Adeboye, said.

Distinguished speakers and accomplished innovative entrepreneurs shall be unpacking the challenges and opportunities inherent in food and agri-food business in post-COVID and new normal Nigeria, he said. He added that the organisation will engage the government at all levels with the communiqué of the conference.  
Justifying the importance of the event, Adeboye said, COVID-19 pandemic has shown that food is one thing that is indispensable to human existence and sustainable livelihoods.

“In Nigeria, the challenges that food processors had to face during the lockdown demanded extraordinary ingenuity and risk management approaches that are contextualized to the Nigerian situation,” he noted.
 
The Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) is the professional body of food scientists and technologists and allied professionals in Nigeria. It was established in 1976 as a non-profit organisation and has grown to over 7,000 active members who work in the food manufacturing sector, higher education, research institutions, government ministries, departments, and agencies.

The profession of food science and technology in Nigeria became chartered with the establishment of the Nigerian Council of Food Science & Technology (NCFST) Act Cap A2 LFN of 15th October 2019 signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The law mandates the NCFST to define and uphold professional standards of competence, integrity, and ethical behaviour among food practitioners in line with best global practices. It is also to ensure that the critical control areas of the food supply chain are handled in the best interests of the people.

The Professional body, NIFST, is a major stakeholder in this mandate.
 
NIFST mission, which is “to harness the abundance of talent and knowledge amongst food professionals in Nigeria towards food sufficiency and good nutrition for the people” is achieved via training, seminar, workshop, conferences, fieldwork, and extension services.