The Africa Centre of Excellence for Food Technology and Research (CEFTER), in partnership with stakeholders in agricultural sector, is working towards promoting African Indigenous Food in Abuja.
Dr Folorunsho Olayemi, the Event Planner for the Congress and Exhibition, on Thursday said the focus would be on African food and how it has been poorly preserved in spite of its importance.
Olayemi said that the African Indigenous food plays a crucial role in food security, nutrition, medicinal values, and income generation to mankind.
He said these crops were ready alternatives to common staples, but remains largely unknown to the public.
According to him, the promotion of these indigenous crops for food, especially among the rural dwellers, will not only sustainably combat hunger in Africa, but can gain inclusiveness in global food system.
He said the centre had organized the first West and Central Africa Post-Harvest Congress and Exhibition (WCAPHCE) in September 2018, with more than 300 participants from 14 countries in attendance.
“The 2nd Edition of the congress, which was initially planned for 2020 could not hold as scheduled, due to COVID-19 pandemic.
“The goal of the Conference was to bring together private and public participants, stakeholders particularly in West and Central Africa, to develop roadmap through research and policy options to improve production and processing,’’ he said.
He said that the policy would also help in marketing of African Indigenous Foods for inclusion in the food systems.
He said the congress would help address the challenges and opportunities in the production of African Indigenous Foods as regarding storage and packaging technologies in ensuring it meets global standards.
“The aim of the congress will be to discuss the nutritional benefits of African Indigenous Foods, promote public health and strengthening the medicinal values and improving post-harvest techniques of these foods through research in order to improve the food safety, quality and establish quality standard for African Indigenous Foods,’’ he said.
WCAPHCE 2022 will hold between November to December 2022 with the theme: “Upscaling and Promotion of African Indigenous Foods’’.
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