Experts advocate development of meat processing technology in Africa

Hadiza Ndadama and Peace Kanu, Abuja

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Three authors of the book, “Opportunities and challenges in Traditional African Meat Product Development” have advocated for the development of technological methods to meat processing in Africa.

The authors, Prof. John O. Igene, Dr. Husseini Doko Ibrahim and Dr. Mohammed L. Buga made the call during the book launch in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Prof. Igene who is the Lead author and a Professor of Food Science and Technology, explained that the book provides scientific basis for technological exploitation of meat product, it’s quality assurance and health safety.

According to him, the book not only seeks to address the challenges of meat processing in Africa, but also provides means of developing hygienic and economical methods for meat processors in the continent.

“We must safeguard the health of consumers, the book contains valuable technological improvements in drying, their quality and safety, we now have kilishi that can last for a year under room temperature. We are only asking that support the technology to be transferred to the rural community so that they can also create wealth and live a good life,” he stated.

Professor Igene added that the technology of the book has been used to develop large scale factories and has been exported to Europe and America where it has been accepted because it is produced under good manufacturing practice.

The Director General of Raw Materials Research and Development Council, RMRDC, who is also a Co-author of the book, Dr. Husseini Doko Ibrahim said one of the main objectives of the book was to review and bring to focus the unique traditional low cost meat processing and preservation methods in the African continent.

“It is essential to preserve these traditional technologies in order to secure their relevance and availability when the need arises and in particular to highlight the sustainable applications of the techniques for improved product and market development for those who live in harsh conditions in most part of Africa,” he said.

Another co-author of the book, the Director industrial chemicals and mineral department, Raw Materials Research and Development Council, Dr. Mohammed L. Buga said the book was a means to disseminate information in collaboration with the researcher which is capable of producing thousands of jobs.

“The council has established a plant which is like a demonstration plant, any investor who is ready to come in can be taken to the plant to see and already we have started commercialisation because the product is out and people are asking for it. This product is also use as a military ration because it also stay longer and is of high standard. We have obtained regulatory approval from NAFDAC we have also standardized the production and we can also go a long way in trying to train local producers in stardizing their products,” Buga explained.

The Executive Secretary of TETFUND, Professor Suleiman E. Bagoro who identified the meat processing technology as a result of research, stressed the need for researchers to be rewarded by the government.

“A way of encouraging Nigerian researchers is to reward them financially, this will boost their morale in engaging in researches that will solve problems in society,” Bagoro stated.

The Chief Launcher at the event, President, Manufacturing Association of Nigeria, MAN, Engineer Mansur Ahmed noted that it was a good opportunity to expand the partnership between the industry, research and development sector which is why the association partnered with the Raw Materials Research and Development Council.

“For development to take place, there must be a lot of investment in research and development itself to develop the products, processes, and particularly to develop the technology that is necessary for human development,” the MAN President explained.

Peace PIAK