The Federal Ministry of Science and Technology has said it will intensify efforts in employing Research and Development in the processing of indigenous crops into nutritious foods.

Director of Bio-resource Technology Department in FMST, Abayoi Oguntade, disclosed this during a recent interview with newsmen in Abuja.

According to him, improving food processing is part of the effort of the government to add value to the growing of crops here in Nigeria.

Oguntade said that researching into food processes and nutrition of native crops 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 went ahead to enlighten newsmen on agricultural wastes such as cassava peel and okra, saying that these are appropriately processed and blended with conventional feed ingredients at predetermined levels for the development of a nutritious feed for a day old broiler chicks.

Still speaking, Oguntade 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, while adding that onion was one of the most important vegetables consumed globally.

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