Don Identifies Methods To Attain Food Sustainability
TOWARDS the realisation of food sustainability, as well as reduction of poverty in developing countries like Nigeria, food technology, technical cum vocational education and entrepreneurship have been identified as inevitable mechanisms required by the Polytechnic system to make education practical-oriented.
This is submission by the Deputy Rector, Yaba College of Technology, Mr Innocent Akhuemonkhan, while delivering the 9th Inaugural lecture of the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos with the topic, Bread sustainability in Nigeria: a quintessence journey. He disclosed that bread was used in the paper philosophically to mean food.
The first assumption in his paper was that the theories and methods of food production, processing and preservation as taught in food technology are effective mechanisms for food sustainability.
The second was that the techniques of food production, processing and preservation in food technology are transferable skills that could be taught to graduates and non-graduates in Nigeria under the Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
The third, being the skills of food production, processing and preservation acquired through TVET when enriched with entrepreneurship education have the propensity to stimulate employment, business creation, wealth creation, growth of local technology, poverty reduction and economic development.
“To prevent Nigerians dreaming about cheap, quality, affordable and sustainable food supply, the policies and programmes of the polytechnic system must be reviewed to accommodate these assumptions.”
He also noted that the objectives of food technology, TVET and entrepreneurship overlap and can be synergised to attain food sustainability.
“The synergy can be achieved when the theories and techniques of food technology are disseminated to students, non-students and the general public through TVET, while the skills gained from TVET could be fortified and enhanced with entrepreneurship education.”
The deputy Rector listed the benefits of the synergy to include: increase in employment generation and wealth creation for graduates and non-graduates in the food processing industry; boosting of practical skills, standards and capacity of graduates, small businesses and the public in the food industry; increase access of potential entrepreneurs and small businesses in the food industry to foreign markets; creation of access to investible funds for graduates with marketable skills in the food processing industry and reinforcement of the town-gown relationship between the academic and the industry.
Akhuemonkhan further recommended the following ideas for policymakers at the national, state and institutional levels for implementation. They are: that government at all levels need to break away from bogus educational policies without involving the experts in practical implementations because the days of mere theoretical knowledge are gone; there is urgent need to redefine the purpose of food technology, TVET and entrepreneurship education to achieve positive result.
“It is expedient for the centre for entrepreneurship to take a lead to establish synergy and collaboration with technology-oriented and engineering departments in the college for mutual benefits.
“The College is strongly requested to replicate Songhai Integrated Farming in Epe as well as the Stanford University Co-ownership model in the Entrepreneurship Incubation Centre in Yaba. The Entrepreneurship Incubation Centre should be empowered to adopt and adapt the Stanford Entrepreneurship Model of Co-Ownership by developing viable start-up businesses for promising students and staff on the principle of co-ownership.
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