The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Dr. Ifeoma Anyanwutaku, has emphasized on the need for Nigerians to eat right in order to achieve longevity and sustainable development.
She made this remark at an event to mark this year’s Sustainable Gastronomy Day, with the theme; “Nations, Foods, Cultures and Partnerships for Sustainable Development “ organized by The National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), in collaboration with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, FCTA Department of Arts and Culture, SDS, Abuja, CCECC Nigeria Limited and NTA- Star TV Network Limited at the Cyprien Ekwensi Centre for Art and Culture, Area 10 Abuja.
According to Dr. Anyanwutaku “nature has blessed Nigeria with natural crops, flaura and fauna hence the need to make judicious use of it, adding that “health is wealth and we are what we eat”.
Dr. Anyanwutaku stated that the theme of this year’s event is very important, as it is the desire of the Ministry to promote diverse food cultures of Nigeria, alongside other global food culture as a way of uplifting the nation’s food and hospitality contents in tourism and the country in general.
She said that Gastronomy has become very important in the culture sector as it helps to reflect cultural heritage tradition of different people with their diverse traditions, as well in creating job opportunities especially in the rural area.
The Permanent Secretary recall that in December 21, 2016 the United Nations General Assembly passed a Resolution to designate June 18 of every year as a day of observance for Sustainable Gastronomy and that during the first celebration held on the 18th of June 2017, Gastronomy acknowledged by the United Nation, as an imperative cultural expression that is connected with three dimensions of Sustainable Development namely people, planet and profit.
According to Dr. Anyanwutaku, as humanity keeps fighting the common enemy, COVID-19 pandemic, it is necessary for humans to make conscious efforts to avoid wastage of Agricultural products and adopting global practices in agriculture.
Speaking at the event, the Director General of National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism Alhaji Nura Sani Kangiwa stated that Gastronomy is a cultural expression of nations through their food, choices, sources of ingredients and types of cuisines, which thrives in culturally rich destination such as Nigeria.
He explained that the nation has the most competitive gastronomy tourist destination, as it is found in diverse ethnic groups and corresponding unique food culture.
The resource person of the event Dr, Florence Uchendu, in her own remark stated that Gastronomy has become a strategic sector that attracts, promotes, creates wealth and employment in the tourism sector and has become a reason for partnership amongst stakeholders and countries for sustainable development.