The Center for Food Technology and Research, ( CEFTER), a World Bank African Center for Control of Post Harvest losses located in Benue State University Makurdi has been urged to redouble its efforts in agricultural research so as to access the N156 million research Fund allocated to the University by TETFUND.
The Vice Chancellor of the Institution, Professor Tor Iorapuu who disclosed this during CEFTER’s 2021 Food Week and Exhibition explained that the N156m allocated to the institution is for the training of staff for research especially science oriented research.
Declaring the Occasion open, the VC commended the Centre Leader and the Students for putting BSU on the global map, especially in the area of post harvest losses that has brought a lot of set back to farmers.
“Already this money has been allocated to the university, so the onus is now on us as an institution to work very hard to access the funds and put it to what it is meant for”
While lamenting on the damage caused to the educational sector by COVID-19, the VC said he is optimistic that the celebration of BSU at 30 anniversary next year will have a lot of exhibition in addition to what the Centre exhibited this year.
Prof. Iorapuu reiterated the university’s continuous partnership with interested experts for advise that will add value to add value to what CEFTER is already doing to enhance productivity.
In a welcome address, the leader of CEFTER Dr Barnabas Ikyo explained that the Food Week is a Staff-Students activity that provides the opportunity for students to put to practice what they have been taught in the class in the last one year.
It also allow Students who are studying non technology based courses to work with others to process local crops into products that can add economic value and also stay long on the shelf
“In this year’s food week and exhibition, students have been group into 8 groups and assigned different food crops to study and develop products that will add value so as to reduce post harvest losses.
“It is expected that most of the adopted techniques can be extended to farmers and food handlers for use to enhance their output and as well avoid wastage”
According to him a lot of efforts have been made by the Centre in processing, which includes training in available opportunities for agribusiness, food fortification, food waste management, budgeting/ planning, Human Resource management, food advertisement and patents.
Our Correspodent observed that some of the products processed from various local crops and exhibited at the Centre includes cocoa nut, yogurt, cassava biscuits, bread, tomatoes, pepper paste, sesame cake, cowpea biscuits, mangoes, orange juices among many others, to add value or fortified for identified nutritional purposes.