In keeping to its campaign promises of providing quality education in the country, the Federal Government has signed a memorandum of understanding with NASCO Foods limited, Jos for commercial production of high nutrient density biscuit for the national school feeding programme.
Speaking at the occasion at the weekend, the Director General and CEO, Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), Dr. Mrs. Gloria Elemo, said the MoU was meant to provide a strategic guide for the collaboration between the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Federal Institute – of Industrial Research Oshodi and Nasco Foods Limited, Jos on commercial production of High Nutrient Density Biscuit.
The initiative was an innovation of FIIRO for the National School Feeding Programme in the spirit of the Public-Private Partnership promoted by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The FIIRO boss stated that the strategic collaboration was one of the approaches that the institute considered and adopted to partner with relevant organisations that can make’ significant contributions to the realisation of its mandate. ‘‘This is based on the realization that an Institute- on its own cannot· make the much desired impact without collaborating with relevant organizations. Collaboration with strategic partners/organizations which could commercialize the Institute’s many innovations.’’
The project she said was conceived out of the need to address the increasing food insecurity which had become a major concern especially for children between the ages 5 and 13 who are mainly primary school children. ‘‘It is heartwarming that the Federal government of Nigeria is conscious of the need to provide adequately for the future generation through the National School Feeding Programme” adding that the programme will lead to increase in pupils’ enrollment in schools; boost school attendance and child nutrition; enhance retention rates; promote general improvement in cognitive abilities of children as well as catalyzing tremendous economic stimulus.
The HND biscuit is developed from indigenous crops which will be commercially produced domestically with this arrangement. Elemo revealed that the choice of Nasco Foods Limited in this partnership was based on the company’s integrity and experience in the industry. For her, the event signified the technical commencement of strategic partnership with Nasco Foods Limited to fully commercialise the High Nutrient Density biscuit production technology. Similarly, the FIIRO DG said the agency was already working with other strategic partners to produce drinks based on our formulation to compliment the biscuit for effective- administration of the National School Feeding Programme.