The University of Guyana has given the green-light for the introduction of a Bachelor of Food Science Degree Programme. This recently approved study is a collaboration between the University of Guyana (UG), University of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), other universities, with local food science expertise.
Official launching of the programme expected on January 23.
The course offers the opportunity for integrated study of agriculture, biology and chemistry, and includes mathematics, physical sciences, organic chemistry, microbiolo
gy, calculus, physics, introductory food science courses, and nutrition.
In the latter two years, expected outcomes of applied food science courses in technology to the manufacturing sector, as well as sensory evaluation, storage, distribution, safety of foods and food ingredients will be targeted. This dispensation may lead to students becoming more inclined to join sectors with specific goals, which would augur well for the expected outcome of executing such study.
Professor Verian Thomas founded the programme while serving as a visiting Professor to the University of Guyana. Professor Thomas has received excellent support from several distinguished local members of staff at the University of Guyana during the conceptualisation phase.
Professor Thomas currently serves as Director of Agricultural Sciences in the College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agriculture (CESTA) at FAMU. She graduated from Leeds University, England with PhD in Food Science. She currently serves as advisor to Minorities in Agriculture Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) chapter at FAMU.
Dr. Dindyal Permaul, who currently serves as Director of The Institute of Food and Nutrition Security (IFANS), University of Guyana, will lead the programme implementation and management.
Food Science disciplines are much needed in the realization of a Green State Development Strategy (GSDS), Food and Nutrition Security and the Ministry of Agriculture Vision for Agriculture 2013-2020. The 2013-2020 strategy is based on five pillars from the Strategic Approach for Agriculture. One of the five pillars is to ensure that everyone in every community has equal access to food.
The strategy is in line with priorities for sustaining and expanding Agro-Diversity Policy of Guyana. It emphasises protection of natural resources and build resilience to climate change. The programme will include Research and Development component for leading applied research agencies such as Guyana Livestock Development Authority.
The strategy also outlined Agro-Processing and Value Addition Chain Systems in realising the 2020 Vision for Guyana. The ability to find food leads to food and nutrition security as being coveted under the expected outcomes of the Food Science Programme.
In conclusion, the business of oil is just around the corner and Guyana is behind in its ability to meet the change required.
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