The primary basic need of man is food. It is difficult to remember when man started thinking of how to produce food for himself. He is busy in the modern era thinking of how to adapt old forms into new ones for his convenience in a world where time, space and comfort are important in several ways. The old consciousness of food ways is still relevant in time and space for food that is not convenient to carry to far distances. This has given rise to foods that are packaged and sold in stores which are convenient to carry for far distances without making one’s clothes or bags messy.
The first traditional way of processing cassava is harvesting tubers of yam when they are mature. They are peeled, washed and grounded in machine or the equivalent of zinc cut into a square form, punctured at equal intervals – small tiny holes looking like spiked shoes. The meshed form of the cassava is put into a bag and tied, placed on a long branch of any tree prepared for the purpose, another one is placed across it and tied. Another one is placed beneath and another one placed above it and tied. The bag of cassava is retied for three days until it is dry. The powder form is put into a sieve; the chaff is separated from the substance and fried in a big pot. How our forbears got the idea of gari preparation is not known. The consciousness is with us; we believe that if we miss the steps gari made will not be good for consumption and we might take ill.
Fufu is prepared differently. Tubers of cassava are uprooted, cut into slices washed thoroughly and taken either to a waterside and kept in a hole pending when they shall be soft; the outer layer covering each slice is removed, a sieve is placed over a bag. Flour percolates beneath the bag while the waste forms sediments in the sieve. The other method is the modern type of the former; the outer layer of the cassava is removed and the slices put into a basin and left for fermentation to take place. The work of sieving is done; fufu is made through this process. The texture of this form is softer than gari .
Few tubers of cassava are uprooted, peeled and sliced into tiny slices; they are boiled and soaked in water for a while. They are eaten with fresh fish, coconut or groundnuts.
Gari is exported in its dry form. It is refined and packaged as flour for those in countries where gari is not produced. This is the modern consciousness borne out of the necessity to reach indigenes of tropical countries where cassava is planted and processed and those who wish to consume it beyond their countries.
Yam is another staple food in most African countries. It is boiled and eaten with stew or a local sauce of pepper and salt. It could be pounded and eaten with fresh fish pepper soup or any other soup. It is roasted and eaten with pea or fish. These are the major ways yam is eaten.
Modern consciousness has demanded the need for packaging the food in a convenient form for travellers and metropolitan dwellers to buy. This has produced yam flour manufactured for easy consumption. This type is sold within Nigeria, African countries, Europe, America and other countries and continents in the world.
Corn is one of the popular meals of Africans eaten in different ways. It may be roasted and eaten with pea or fish. It could also be eaten with coconut. Corn has been produced in modern forms suitable for rural and urban dwellers. One finds pub-corn and cornflakes as foods in stores. These have been manufactured from the modern consciousness of man who is pitted against time, space and many schedules. These are not only convenient for non-farmers but farmers who could use them out of season. This last point is responsible for the continuous search for the production of foods for preservation out of season.
Plantain is the last example chosen for the demonstration of the urgent need for brains to be at work for the use of different foodstuffs for the production of foods out-of-season. Its essence is to prevent food scarcity and make foods available in stores all round the year. Plantain is boiled and eaten with stew or palm oil. It could be boiled, pounded and eaten with fresh fish pepper soup or any other soups.
Plantain flour is found in major stores in most cities of Nigeria and other countries. This is the modern form which is easy to ship and export to various countries in the world. Local factories produce plantain chips which could last for about a week. They have tried but the need arises to think of how to make this type last for a longer duration of time.
Banana is of the family of plantain. There is now banana custard. This is a modern innovation which has brought about the production of egg and banana custard. This is the outcome of modern consciousness to satisfy people who could carry the product to any destinations.
In conclusion foodstuffs could be adapted to suit the contemporary period. There are food companies, researchers and scholars who are constantly thinking of different ways of preserving food, processing foodstuffs into foods for consumption. The modern society is different from the old one which had much time; also most persons were farmers. Specialization has taken place. This has helped tremendously to improve knowledge for the development of humanity. The bulk of work lies with agricultural scholars, government, private sponsors and companies; these could work together to produce food for preservation all round the year as well as foods for consumption all round the year.
Concerning fruits, there are orange, banana, rasin, mango, grape, pineapple, guava, apricot, lemon, tangerine, apple, berry and lime fruits. These are eaten in their natural forms seasonally. Scholars, researchers and manufacturers have thought to preserve these around the year. This consciousness has led to the opening of many industries for the manufacture of various juices.
The reasons for this consciousness are materialism and convenience. People are interested in making money from the fruits available if they could convert them into drinks. They are also aware that people travel often and will be willing to carry drinks along or buy the ones neatly put into plastic bottles to their offices and any other places.
The industries have also thought of using materials that could be disposable. The containers could decay easily without been the problem of the waste industry. This has helped tremendously in keeping the environment clean.
Indeed there are several brands that may not be listed here. Many states have produced drinks which are peculiar to them as well as nations. The focus of this paper is Nigeria and the juice industries. There has been great improvement from the 1970s until the present; most of the drinks that were manufactured and sold in stores and supermarkets in the country were imported. Now indigenous companies have started manufacturing drinks from the fruits available in the country which are spread geographically.
There are single fruit drinks. Few of these are orange, lemon, mango and pineapple juices. The natural process for some of these is to peel the outer skin of each and squeeze the juice into a glass cup to prove the possibility of producing drinks from the fruits. It is known that stopping at that without preservatives will not proffer solution to the problem of preservation. The duration of any juice depends on the quality and durability of the preservatives which must be tested to meet up the standard of NAFDAC in Nigeria.
Capri-some drink has an orange brand which satisfies anyone who wants only that flavour. It tastes like orange which is not preserved with artificial ingredients, sweetness nor preservatives. The ingredients are water, sugar, orange, juice concentrate, citric acid and vitamin C. Chi company produces it in Lagos.
There are fruit drinks which are a combination of other fruits. Don Simon is a mixed fruit drink made up of orange, banana, raisin, pomme, kwi, fraise et citron, sucre, acidifiant: acide critique et vitamin C. The flavour of this is different from any single juice. This particular one is rich and perhaps good for diabetic patients since it does not contain sugar.
Mixed Fruit Dansa is as it is named. The contents are grape, orange, pineapple, mango, passion fruit, guava, apricot, banana, limes, sucrose, citric acid, vitamin C and water. The nutritional contents are energy, protein, carbohydrate, fat, fibre and sodium. The company is an indigenous one; it is based in Abule Oshun, Lagos in Nigeria. The Dangote Company is responsible for the production of it.
Chi Exotic is made up of exotic pineapple and coconut nectar. These fruits are produced in many parts of Nigeria especially the East. The food contents are energy, carbohydrate, protein and energy. This product is manufactured at Chivita avenue in Lagos.
5Alive is the brand name for another type of juice. The contents are water, sugar, pineapple, orange, lemon, grape fruit, tangerine, lime, pineapple flavour, carmel, citric acid and vitamin C, energy, carbohydrate, protein, fat, sodium, vitamins A, C and E. It is a rich fruit drink which is nice but may not be good for anyone whose doctor does not recommend it. It is the product of Coca Company.
Chivita premium is different from Chi juice drink. The contents are orange concentrate, mango, natural flavour and water. This drink is sweet and nice to drink; it may be good for many persons since it preserves the natural flavour of each juice though when mixed it gives a taste that is neither orange nor mango but a mixture of both.
The consciousness of producing such juices has arisen out of modernity, coping with the exigencies of now-ness : accessibility, convenience, comfort and changes in culture and taste. The juices are economic products of brains at work to carter for the needs of people; the constant worry is pirates of the products who are most likely to produce products which are sub-standard. The substandard ones and those which use sub-standard preservatives are treats to human existence. People must avoid the ones which have expired; there are times to discard them; they can not last forever but the companies have tried to make us have juices round the year.
Ngaage is of the Niger Delta University.
Barine Saana Ngaage
NGO Seeks Govt, Investors’ Support To Boost Fish, Poultry Farming
Organisation (NGO), Pechar Integrated Services Limted, an Agro-Allied Feed Manufacturing Company, says it requires the support of government and other well meaning investors to establish a fish and animal feed production factory in Rivers-State.
The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NGO, Charles Pepple, who made the call in an exclusive interview stated that when established, the company will produce feeds for fish, shrimp, chicken, pig, dog and cow.
According to him, his organisation has purchased advance multi-feed technology machine for the production of fish and animal feeds, which will enable farmers get the feeds at highly subsidized prices.
The native of Bonny Kingdom stayed informed that he acquired necessary training in abroad, and went on to purchase Advance Technology Multi-Feed Machinery from China on Agro-Allied Feed Manufacturing.
“Due to the huge cost of setting up the project, I’m seeking for extra funding or support from the Rivers State Government, and prospective investors in order to set up the Fish and Animal feed Production Factory in Rivers-State.
“With the available merchinery, we can start producing 1mm floating fish and shrimp feed for early stage fish and shrimp fingerling development and growth in Nigeria and other sizes of feeds too”, he said.
He explained that as experts and consultant in Feed Manufacturing Technology, the company would be able to offer support and training of Rivers State indigenes on Hi-Tech Animal and fish feed production.
“The Machine also produces palletise feed for chicken, the latest technology in chicken feed production.
“Subsequently, we would start producing feed for cow, goat and sheep, soon after we commence operations.
“It is a good news for farmers because they will be able to afford subsidised feed as compared to the imported brand that is sold at very exorbitant prices,” Pepple said.
By: Susan Serekara-Nwikhana
LASUBUB Holds Agric Exhibition For Pupils
Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LASUBEB) has organised a pupils’ agriculture exhibition to boost farming in the state.
According to LASUBEB Executive Chairman, Wahab Alawiye King, the initiative is intended to promote agriculture in the state and also encourage farming among pupils.
The event, which was held at LASUBEB Multi-Purpose hall, Maryland, Ikeja, was attended by the Commissioner of the Ministry of Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya.
Speaking at the gathering, Olusanya stated that agriculture is an effective tool against hunger and poverty, adding that it is very essential to major industries such as manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, plastic, etc.
She stated that agriculture is the catalyst of development in the country and also a bedrock of every profession, stating that no nation can survive without food.
She added that the domestic production of livestock and farm produce is far below national demand, which is leaving room for the importation of livestock with inflation, urging the pupils to continue to engage themselves in farming.
She urged teachers to introduce scientific methods of farming such as mechanised farming and other technical models in agriculture to EKOEXCEL pupils.
Speaking further, the LASUBEB Executive Chairman disclosed that 51 schools from 11 local government education authorities benefited from the agricultural training programme funded by Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), adding that the project is to foster agricultural skills in the pupils.
“Today shows that education is holistic. It is better to catch them young, over-reliance on oil and related products has to be discouraged. Agriculture is the most important sector and we are naturally endowed in this part of the world and as such, we need to take advantage of it.
“This is the harvest period; this is the second series and as you can see, it is a bumper harvest. It is to encourage the pupils into agriculture and to also show that it contributes to our economy”, he said.
At the exhibition, the pupils joyfully displayed various farm produce and livestock such as yam, plantain, cassava, chickens, pigs and many more.
EKOEXCEL pupils now attend and participate in such exhibitions with much-improved dramatisation and execution of their play-acting with an eagerness to showcase their development in school.
Before the introduction of EKOEXCEL, pupil attendance, pupil learning outcomes, teacher content knowledge, teacher motivation as well as pupil optimism were below par.
With EKOEXCEL, these drawbacks have been addressed by a technology-based platform that provides teachers with all the necessary tools and support that they need to help their pupils learn.
Africa Processes Less Than 10% Cashew Production- ACA President
President of the African Cashew Alliance (ACA), Babatola Faseru, has stated that processing factories in Africa are still faced with challenges that limit their production.
Such challenges, he said, include issues of inadequate access to finance, lack of processing equipment, technical knowledge and skills, storage systems, etc, resulting in Africa processing less than 10 percent of its total production.
Speaking during the fourth Ordinary Session of the Consultative International Cashew Council (CICC), in Cameroon, Faseru said the circumference of these challenges is the key issue of quality-enabling environment for a sustainable industry.
He said the future is bright for cashew production in Africa, but that there are many loopholes along the line.
“Starting from the base root-production, as much as we are number one in the world, our cashew trees are producing less than expected.
“There is not enough diverse research and technologies to improve seed varieties and breeding. Can we arguably say that our farmers are following the appropriate post-harvest practices to minimize losses and wastage?
“Talking about processing, we witnessed especially in 2020 the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the processing sector. To a large extent, however, the resilience and increasing global demand for cashews, particularly in the US, Europe, China and the Middle East, kept the cashew industry strong and stable with the net export of cashew kernels increasing by about 10 percent over that of the previous year”, he sad.
Speaking on the ways that ACA has been working in the cashew sector which at several levels resonate with the objectives of the CICC, he said ACA prides itself as the knowledge hub and this the Alliance has over the years harnessed.
“We have developed diverse learning and information sharing platforms for cashew stakeholders. Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, we moved most activities online and predominately have two of such being held every month.
Faseru said that next year, ACA will introduce the ACA Quarterly Policy Roundtable (QPR). The purpose of the forum, he explained, is to develop sustainable and inclusive policies for the African cashew industry by offering an opportunity to improve the literature and strategic plan of cashew stakeholders through cashew industry information.
“Through this forum, we will address issues around price mechanism, value chain analysis and sustainability, capacity building and access to finance.
“Also, there is the ACA Annual Conference held every September in cashew producing countries. The ACA conference continues to be a great place to learn and network in the cashew business world. It also allows stakeholders to promote their brand, products, and services”, he said.
In the same vein, the ACA boss said with the CICC coming up strong, galvanising the efforts of all governments of member-countries and working side-by-side with the private sector industry and the various development and finance partners, he sees Africa rising and becoming a giant in the global cashew landscape, creating jobs for the teeming youths.
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