Expert advocates co-investment in food science technologies to attract FDIs

Tue, Jun 27, 2023
By editor
4 MIN READ

Food

DR. Tony Bello, Chairman/Founder, Shine Bridge Global has called on President Bola Tinubu to prioritize co-investments in proven food science technologies to attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs), inclusive growth, among others.

Bello gave the advise while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos.

According to him, the new administration of President Tinubu is focusing on agriculture, power and infrastructure development to enable ease of doing business.

However, he said, the president should not solely rely on policies and institutional reforms, but must co-invest in proven food science and technology to attract private sector investments while highlighting some strategic partnerships.

Bello further stated that this would also promote intra-Africa and global trade and investments for inclusive growth, job creation opportunities and increased Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) base and attract foreign direct investments.

“To promote trade and investments between Nigeria and the U.S., Shine Bridge Global is investing in food technology innovations to transform the cassava root vegetable and other indigenous staples into functional food ingredients for the global consumer food markets.

“As private sector social-impact investors, our goal is to help improve lives and livelihoods in Nigeria through investments in R&D innovation of new food products made from cassava and other staples to fast-track global market entries of indigenous staples.

“Our company recently partnered with NIJI Foods in Nigeria and with JPG Resources in Battle Creek, Michigan.

“These partnerships are designed to ensure supply security of cassava fresh produce and market sustainability of new food ingredients and CPG derived from cassava (HQCF), especially baked goods and savory snacks,” Bello said.

According to him, in preparation for fast-track market entry of Instant Tapioca Flakes in the U.S. and Nigeria, SBG has also partnered with a major baby food manufacturer in the United States.

“We are in partnership with a major baby food company for co-manufacturing of Instant Tapioca Flakes industrial food ingredients by further processing of HQCF sourced from Nigeria into better functional ingredients.

“Such as for making fufu premixes, baked goods such as bread, pizza crusts, snacks, crackers, and cookies. We are simply leveraging the reapplication of proven dehydration processing technologies for making baby food cereals and Instant Mashed potatoes.

“We are creating new CPG made from admixtures of Instant Tapioca Flakes and specialty grains such as sorghum, millet, fonio, and sesame flours.

“A recent survey of supermarkets and restaurants in Lagos and Abuja showed increasing popularity of fufu or ‘swallow’ foods made from wheat, oats, and potato flakes.

“If we are not careful, our pounded yam and cassava fufu will soon be replaced by imported cereals which are not grown in abundance in Nigeria.

“Who will suffer the consequences of this shifting consumer food patterns and habits in Nigeria? The first will be the farmers and then all consumers in Nigeria as increasing food bill is soon followed by increasing consumer price index in the marketplace,” he said.

Bello also stated that everyone suffers from increase of food import bill.

He, therefore, harped on the urgent need for co-investments by the new administration in R&D innovation of HQCF and in the processing of indigenous staples into consumer-packaged goods.

“Private sector alone must not bear the burden of R&D costs. Government must co-invest along side the private sector and development partners.

“Baby food manufacturers in the U.S. are processing cereals, fruits, and vegetables into delicious meals for babies and infants. It is a high time government shift from only focusing on agricultural production to co-investments in food processing and manufacturing of indigenous foods.

“Strategic public-private partnerships with the right companies and technocrats is sure to drive towards achieving food and nutrition security for all Nigerians.

“While at the same time promoting global export market of processed foods from Nigeria to the rest of the world.

“SBG’s Instant Tapioca Flakes new product innovations have the potential of transforming lives and livelihoods of cassava farming communities in Nigeria, and Africa at large,” Bello added.

He also noted that the global demand for gluten-free and grain-free processed foods gives government’s co-investment in R&D innovation the potential of becoming a game changer for many rural Nigeria cassava farming communities.(NAN)

June 27, 2023 @ 18:39 GMT|

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