Mrs Adebola Ademilua, a member of America Chemical Society (ACS), has called on federal and state governments in the country to support production of locust beans.
She advised the government to assist in the production of locust beans because of its added value to both nutrition and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders such as ulcer and diarrhea.
“Nigeria needs to focus more on high quality production of locust beans so as to stop the importation of some raw materials that can be locally substituted using locust beans,” she said.
Ademilua said that locust beans could generate enough income for the country, if necessary steps were taken by both state and federal governments to enhance as well as modernise its production.
She stressed that it was the right time for Nigeria to improve and invest in the production of locust beans, so as to stop the importation of tocopherol (Vit. E) which could be gotten from locust beans.
” Locust beans is one of the crops that should be considered because Nigeria is a global leader in its production. The country needs to increase its production,” she said.
Ademilua said that with enough quantity of locust beans which could be substituted for imported tocopherol, Internally Generated Revenue would be improved and more employment opportunities would be created
“To work along the value chain from production to market, one has to consider productivity and value addition.
“To add value to a product desired in the market, one has to be competitive and being competitive means that one has to lower the cost of production. This is where the government needs to intervene,” she said.
She said that lowering the production cost would ensure that the product was sold at a price that could take care of the production cost and also have good profit.
Ademilua noted that with proper training and improved agronomic practices now, locust beans could find its way into the global market.
She said that proper consumption of locust beans could cure hypertension, diabetics, ulcer and diarrhea.
” Locust bean is antibacterial, antihypertensive, antidiabetics and effective in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders such as ulcer and diarrhea, ” she said.
(Edited by Olabisi Akinbode/Mufutau Ojo)