Friday, April 19, 2024

NFTRC trains Botswana’s food processing entrepreneurs

KANYE: The National Food Technology Research Center (NFTRC) this week hosted some of the country’s budding entrepreneurs at its laboratories in Kanye where they went through intensive training in processing natural products.

Amongst the products were Morama (Tylosema esculentum), Kgengwe (Citrullus lunatus) and Mungongo  (Schinziophyton rautenenii), and the communities were trained on the nitty-gritty of modern way of processing these products into morama and mungongo virgin and extra virgin olive oils, kgengwe leather (taken as snack), morama butter and morama milk.

The training covered topics like: Food legislation and its importance, good hygiene practices, equipment design and layout, food adulterants and contaminants, raw material selection, food packaging, sensory evaluation and marketing, product realization and marketing as well as the importance of Intellectual Property in agro-processing enterprises.

“We have demonstrated the small scale processing of these products at these people’s respective places of origin. The lack of electricity at the rural areas hampered their advancement. This course is for them to get the concept of an industrial scale processing in preparation for their entrepreneurship. Research has shown that these products have nutritional value needed by market even overseas,” said Ompelege Matenanga, Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUAN) youthful researcher who was in charge of the teams.    

Matenanga, underpinned that the training was the end of their four year research program titled “Cultivation, value addition and marketing of climate smart emerging crops to improve food security in Botswana” sponsored by the Southern African Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL) to a tune of P2.7 million.

The products’ richness in nutritional value has attracted market abroad and researchers have pledged to support these communities to own their products-even their patent.


Read this week's paper