Don wants varsities to partner govt on research, development

FutaTertiary institutions like the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Ondo State, have been tasked to partner with the Federal government in the fabrication of functional equipment, including prototype food processing machines, if they must aid in the nation’s socio-economic advancement.

And in view of the fact that most societal problems can be solved through scholarly researches, governments at different levels have been charged to make improved funding of science and technology education a priority, just as laboratories and workshops must be well equipped in order for them to facilitate the design and fabrication of functional equipment, including equipment for local food processing.

Professor of Food Science and Technology, Tayo Nathaniel Fagbemi, made the submission while delivering the 73rd inaugural lecture of the university.

Fagbemi called on the government to establish a Centre for Development of Nigerian Foods (CDNF), which will develop processing of under-utilised crops into pilot plants, from where small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can take over.
The food scientist also urged the government to make concerted efforts towards ensuring constant supply of electricity to facilitate profitability of these ventures.

Speaking on the topic, “Food Processing: Guaranteeing Food, Nutrition and Health Security’, said the poor state of applied science and technology has led to the nose diving of the scientific efforts of the early 1960s and 1970s, which allowed local talents to make meaningful and original contributions to technological growth.

He added that the “Asian tigers” that looked at Nigeria with envy in the 1960s have left the country behind and made substantial improvements to the design and fabrication of their traditional food processing equipment.
Fagbemi, who stated that food processing was germane to food security, stressed that food processing, apart from making food available all-year round, can also help to eliminate toxic chemical constitution in foods and pathogenic micro-organisms.

Vice chancellor of the school, Professor Adebiyi Daramola, described the lecturer as an erudite professor who has contributed immensely to research and academic development in his field of specialisation.
He said, “Professor Fagbemi has really demonstrated his intellectual prowess in his field.  He has been a consistently productive scholar, who has contributed significantly to knowledge in his chosen area of specialisation, in addition to providing leadership for his students and younger academics since he took up appointment in the university”.

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