By Bukar Bolori
The Chinese Government is boosting peanut production in the country with training of farmers on techniques for quality production.This is part of its quest to assist improve food production in Nigeria.
The intervention was done through the Institute of Food Science and Technology, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (IFST-CAAS) in collaboration with the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN) and the China-Africa Green Agriculture Development Research Centre (GACARDC) who collaborated in organising a one-day international training conference on peanut quality evaluation and processing utilization technology at the China-Aid Nigerian Agricultural Development Technology Demonstration Center, Ushafa, Abuja.
Speaking at the event, Wang Jun, Director of China-Africa Green Agriculture Development Centre and the Managing Director of Green Agriculture West Africa Limited (GAWAL), in his remarks, said the training provides an opportunity to explore new technologies in peanut cultivation and processing techniques for the benefit of farmers.
He said despite facing a series of challenges, such as the need to address aflatoxin issues and the significant fluctuations in peanut cultivation and yield, the future of the Nigerian peanut industry is promising.
He said: “Through measures such as technological innovation, sustainable development, enhanced processing, and market promotion, Nigeria will further solidify its position in the global peanuts market, bringing sustainable development and benefits to farmers and the national economy.
“This technical training programme serves as a bridge between theory and practice, bringing together experts, practitioners, and enthusiasts alike to enhance knowledge, share experiences, and push the boundaries of what we know about peanut processing. During this session, we will embark on a journey of discovery, exploring the nuances of peanut raw material evaluation, from cultivation practices, post-harvest handling, and processing methodologies to quality control measures,” Wang Jun added.
Earlier in his remark, Professor Wang Qiang, Chief Scientist of the Institute of Food Science and Technology, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences said the technical training session is in line with the institution’s mandate to provide regular science and technology assistance projects to developing countries.
He said the institute is in Africa to promote the construction of the first China-Africa Cooperative Research Center for Quality Evaluation, Processing and Utilization of Peanuts in Nigeria.
He stated that the aim is to jointly promote the healthy development of the African peanut industry, and provide support for ensuring the quantity and quality safety of African peanuts.
On his part, Professor Garba Hamidu Sharubutu, Executive Secretary of the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), ably represented Professor Bello Zaki Abubakar, thanked the Chinese government for the training and urged participants to apply the knowledge acquired for the development of the peanut industry.
Participants at the conference received training on processing characteristics and quality evaluation of peanut raw materials, comprehensive utilization of peanuts, and the practical demonstration of peanut quality portable tachymeter and peanut oil press equipment.