CEFTER Food Week: BSU Vice Chancellor, Prof. Iorapuu targets agriculture

CEFTER Food Week: BSU Vice Chancellor, Prof. Iorapuu targets agriculture

Prof Iorapuu made the declaration Friday at the Center for Food Technology & Research (CEFTER), BSU Food Week & Exhibition 2021 held at the institution in Makurdi.

He also vowed to consolidate on the efforts of past administrators of the institution and ensure the growth of the varsity.

“I acknowledge past Vice Chancellors who established CEFTER. My business will be to ensure that the energy they put in the establishment of this center is not in vain.

“I want to appreciate the staff of this center and also encourage them that more still needs to be done. Next year BSU will be 30 years, our desire is that we should be known for something. Benue is known as the food basket of the nation, this institution will fly the flag. So if there is anything we need to do to fulfill this dream, I will do it with every bit of my blood.

“You are aware, Covid-19 has affected every sector of the human existence especially, education and to that extent, funding remains a major issue. Such exhibitions of our technology will bring industrialist here who will want to engage with us. Not withstanding we will continue to engage critical minds that will take interest in what we are doing.

He revealed that tetfund has earmarked 156 Million naira for the training of staff in science related programmes and encouraged BSU academics to work hard to lay claim of the opportunity.

“If we have something that is authentic, genuine, that is what tetfund is looking for and we want to be known for something. The onus is on us to work hard so we can access the 156 billion naira,” the VC said.

Chairman of the Occasion, MD/CEO Farm4me Group Nig Ltd, Adama Adama, said food is everybody’s business and the group is proud to be partner with the center.

Represented by the Executive Director, Farm4me Group Nig Ltd, Bonbo Nadah, he said: “It is not only an eye opener, it is a great idea because it is consistent with what our group is all about. Agriculture, food, because everybody eats food but not everybody drives a car but they eat. So this exhibition is not only timely but I have learnt a lot too, and as a group we are going to take note of it and work on deepening our partnership.”

In a remark, State Focal person, National Social Investment Programme, Terris Damsa, represented by the Programme Officer, Home Grown School Feeding Programme, Tersoo Agera said the exhibition has further tighten the partnership ties between NSIP and CEFTER.

He said one of the objectives of the school feeding programme is to grow the local economy and with such exhibitions of the possibilities at CEFTER, the center will soon take over the supplies needed by the school.

Other stakeholders of the center said the exhibition was an unveiling of the potentials in the state which if harnessed can open doors of employment and grow the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

Earlier, in a welcome address, Director of the center, Dr Barnabas Ikyo called for investors in Agribusiness and also entrepreneurship partnership with the different sections.

“Food week is a staff-student activity that provides the opportunity for students to put to practice what they have been taught in class for one year.

“This year students have been grouped into 8 and assigned crops to develop products that have added value or fortified for identified nutritional purposes.

“The groups were Bambara nuts/Cowpea, Sesame/Peanut, Irish/Sweet potatoes, Orange/Mango, Palm kernel/Coconut, Sugar cane/Pineapple, Tomato/Pepper and Cassava/Yam,'” he said.

Some of the students, Agbo Evelyn a Ph.D student and Hope Samson an M.Sc student who spoke to The Voice, said they were grateful for the existence of the center as they have improved a lot and have learnt skills to enable them survive in the society.

Dignitaries went round each table to view the varieties of products from the groups mentioned and interaction with group members on the nutritional value of the products.