DEPARTMENT OF FOOD SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY:
THE JOURNEY SO FAR
The founding fathers of the University of Nigeria realized the necessity of postharvest technology in an agriculture-based national economy from the very inception of the university. As a consequence the University commissioned experts (Profs Kirk Lenton, Hugh Henderson, Wasley Grunkel and James Boyd) of Michigan State University (MSU) which was UNN’s collaborating institution to prepare a study which in January 1964 resulted to a report entitled “Educational Development Analysis of the College of Agriculture, University of Nigeria (1964)”. Among other things, this report proposed the establishment of a Department of Food Science and Technology, which the Governing Council approved in August 1964. Although the proposal was submitted through the Government of Eastern Nigeria for United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for a development assistance loan by the Government of United States of America (USA) to establish the Department and construct the attendant facilities, the effort was shelved until the end of the Nigerian Civil War (1967 – 1970). In 1971, the Faculty of Agriculture resumed its pressure on the University to establish a Department of Food Science and Technology which was channeled to the National University Council (NUC) which on its part was only able to authorize the commencement of a degree programme in the discipline under the rubric of an umbrella academic entity: the Department of Food and Home Sciences. Consequently, Food Science and Technology, as an academic programme, took off at University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1973 in a combined Department with Home Economics housed in Osmond Building without the requisite technical facilities with which such a prograrmme should be endowed.