As part of government’s plan to feed about 30 million school children below the age of 13, the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NASCO Food Limited, Jos, on commercial production of High Nutrient Density (HND) biscuits for pupils.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Abuja, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, said the MoU was necessary in order to advance the implementing process of High Nutrient Density biscuits for the National School Feeding Programme (NSFP).
Onu said the project was conceived out of the need to address the increasing food challenges of primary school children between the ages of five and 13 years.
“This is surely the best way to go as the nation is giving serious attention to utilization of indigenous technologies as a potent strategy to diversify the economy to provide alternative revenue sources.”
“In this process, jobs will be created, wealth will be generated and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), will be enhanced through the productive sector of the economy,” he said.
The Minister also said the High Nutrient Density biscuits were one of the products of Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO), Oshodi, Lagos, which would meet at least one-third recommended dietary allowance of pupils.
General Manager of NASCO Foods, Mr. Ibrahim Sani, in turn, thanked the Ministry for counting the company worthy to partner with it in the commercial production of the biscuits.
Sani, said NASCO Foods limited is an indigenous company that has contributed immensely to the economic development of Nigeria in its 50 years of existence.
The wholly indigenous company, according to him, has capacity and experience to produce biscuit products to feed estimated 25 million children in public primary schools across the country.
Director General of FIIRO, Mrs. Gloria Elemo, said the mandate of the institute was to carry out research and development into food and agro-allied processing technologies.
“The signing of MoU signifies the technical commencement of strategic partnership with NASCO Foods to fully commercialize the biscuits production technology.
“The biscuit is developed from indigenous crops which reflect the nation’s best in terms of foods security, safety and standard which will be commercially produced with this arrangement.”
FIIRO is a parastatal agency under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.