The three day event of the 2017 Food West Africa (FWA), organised by Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions, kicked off today at the Landmark Centre, Victoria island, Lagos, with food security as the focal point of presentations.

In its 2nd edition, the FWA welcomed over 150 exhibitors from over 25 countries to showcase a wide range of scintillating products and services in the food and beverage industry.

In an interview with AgroNigeria, the Director, Food and Drug Services, Federal Ministry of Health, Pharm (Mrs) GMO, Modupe Chukwumah, who represented the Hon. Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, stressed on the importance of food security for the overall benefit of the country.

“Food security is of great importance to the country. That is why all stakeholders in the food and beverage industry are all meeting here to exchange ideas. Also, it is important to note that once you eat well there is no need to visit the clinic. That is why the Ministry of Health is collaborating with other agencies to encourage local manufacturing of products in the markets so we can start eating what we produce.”

Speaking for the organiser, the Exhibitions Manager, Global Exhibitions, Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions, Ryan Sanderson, expressed delight on the turnout of participants at the event, while reiterating their commitment towards ensuring food security in Nigeria.

“In the first edition last year, the idea was to introduce distributors, importers and people in retail and trade in the food and beverage industry, and bring them all together to meet international and local suppliers who have invested in the Nigerian market. This year we collaborated with more partners to create a better platform for anyone involved in the food and beverage industry in Nigeria to meet industry leaders from regional, national and international organisations.”

“Food security is a big factor in the international community especially in developing markets. So we want to play our role in helping to improve food security in Nigeria. This is further enhanced with our close relationship with NAFDAC”, he surmised.

On how farmers can effectively manage risk for better productivity, the Managing Principal of Food Health Systems Advisory, a Consulting Firm in Lagos, Vivian Maduekeh, intimated that risk management is important for farmers in achieving food security.

“Risk management is very crucial for farmers because of the many risks involved in farm practices like pests, drought, and diseases. So as a farmer you need to assess these risks so as to know the best practices to employ to mitigate them before they happen, which also helps in securing food”, she said.

The food exhibition continues tomorrow and will end on Friday.