‘Public-Private Sector Investment Vital to Achieving Food Security’

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By Ugo Aliogo

The Managing Director, BASF West Africa Limited, Jean-Marc Ricca, has said public-private sector partnership remains vital in achieving food security in the country.

Ricca, disclosed this in Lagos recently, at the BASF’s Food Innovation Cluster Stakeholder Workshop, organised to foster partnerships, promote co-operation and commitment along the food value chain.

He stated that innovations would impact how the world would feed the growing population amidst decreasing natural resources, soil degradation and climate change.

He also stated that the government, private sector and international organisations needed to collaborate to ensure sustainable food security, adding that these stakeholders should work together to produce multi-faceted solutions.

“The key to ensuring food security lies in public-private partnerships. Innovations will impact how the world will feed the growing population amidst decreasing natural resources, soil degradation and climate change. “The government, private sector and international organisations need to collaborate to ensure sustainable food security. These stakeholders should work together to produce multi-faceted solutions.”

Ricca, further stated that from production, processing, storage and transportation of food, improvements need to be made to ensure food safety and quality during processing and ensure minimum waste.

In his remarks, the Director Food Fortification and Partnerships at BASF West Africa, Andreas Bluethner, noted that at BASF, they were working with stakeholders along the food value chain to provide innovative products and solutions to ensure high yields during production; food fortification ingredients to enhance nutrition value of food and cold chain solutions to address food wastage.

According to Ricca, “We look at challenges as possibilities. If you look at the negative side of Nigeria, you will only see problems, but if you look at it positives, there are so many opportunities.

“It is a tough business environment, it is complex and sometimes it is hostile, but the outlook is positive and this year was bit tough, but it does not change our commitment to the Nigerian business environment. “Despite the difficult economic circumstances, we opened in February this year, the first ethnic hair care laboratory in Africa here in Lagos. We have to continue to invest and focus and value creation in Nigeria.”

He said in a tough business environment like Nigeria, organisations must have the right skill set in the industry.

He said the food innovation cluster was a platform for people seeking or offering solutions in the food value chain to exchange, network and partner to improve business sustainability and food security globally.