John Eloyi JudithNational Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Nigeria
Title: Starch: Application and national development
Starch crops such as roots and tubers (cassava, yam, cocoyam and potato), cereals (maize, sorghum, millet and rice) and fruits (banana, plantain and breadfruit) are abundantly cultivated globally including Nigeria, however, only starch produced from cassava, maize, potato, and rice are commercially available in many developing countries. Value addition has been a huge challenge, for example, only about 1 % is processed for industrial applications, 10 % is used as feedstock, 5 % is processed into syrup concentrates for the soft drink industry and 84 % is consumed as food. This is despite the fact that some of these countries are the largest producers of some of these products, e.g. Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava in the world. In a sharp contrast, the annual production of rice in Nigeria is reported to have increased by 57 % within 9 years, while rice importation decreased by 60 % within the same time, indicating Nigeria’s readiness to achieve self-sufficiency. Therefore, to achieve sustainable progress in the starch industry, national governments, private sectors and key stakeholders must ensure the improvement of the agricultural sector and increase the conversion of starch-based crops from low-yielding famine crops to high-yielding cash crops in order to foster the economic development of their countries. Like some other countries in Africa, the starch market is centered mainly on consumption, although an industrial market is evolving that needs to be explored and utilized as the starch business is growing into billions of dollars worldwide. This paper x-rays this important opportunity for both science and trade, while also recommending policy issues.
John Eloyi Judith is the Head, Health Intervention and Quality Control and a researcher at the Center for Nanomedicine and Biophysical Drug Delivery, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), Nigeria. She holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Jos, Nigeria and obtained her postgraduate degree from the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. She is passionate about the design and development of novel therapeutics and drug delivery systems, using innovative technologies like nanotechnology in the formulation and evaluation of phytopharmaceuticals, transdermal drug delivery systems and biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles. She has authored several publications in peer reviewed journals, the most recent is the IntechOpen book chapter: History, Evolution and Future of Starch Industry in Nigeria, edited by Prof. Emeje Ochubiojo Martins who was also a Co-Author with Dr. Obi Peter Adigwe. She served as member of the local organizing committee of the International Conference on Health Access and Socio-Economic Development Beyond Covid-19 (ASICC-19), Nigeria and the National Association of Pharmacist in Academia (NAPA) conference among others. She has also attended several local and international conferences, including the International Conference on Emerging Trends in Scientific Research, held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. She is married with three children.