What a time to be alive? A time to have all tools needed to better food systems, food security, food sustainability and food management.
I was excited to learn that I was accepted for an MSc in Food Systems and Management at the reputable Cranfield University in England, United Kingdom. At the time of acceptance I had received offers from other universities but my now University follow up student support was outstanding! Student Ambassadors, Fellows and other staff members from the Cranfield University ensured all burning questions at a personal level were answered. With no sponsor and no successful scholarship applications, I wrote to my now department, AgriFood, expressing my interest in the curriculum content being offered at the institute. This helped me secure a 24% tuition bursary with funding information that was availed to me by the student support.
Months later, the Tier4 VISA process was swiftly done with the prompt CAS number provision.
Upon arrival, the public service, University staff from various industrial and academic disciplines and fellow students from all over the world was not only receptive but informative enough to ensure the orientation experience was enjoyable and fun. I’ve noticed the English public servants are so dedicated to serving clients that they don’t answer to my How Are You Doing questions. It’s funny because I genuinely want to know if it’s a good day. To see how best I can make a transaction or service easier. Interesting efficient service delivery culture I must say.
My first few weeks of lectures had interesting field trips to some of the biggest establishments in England, the United Kingdom and the entire globe at large.
The first trip was to G’s Farm. Producer of onions, celery, radish, mushrooms and other various crops for UK and many other European retailers. We covered soil management, importance of crop genetics, environmental management, and post-harvesting automation. The particular farm has made a massive investment to optimize the unique uniform flat land that allows them to irrigate by controlling underground water table with respect to the root lengths of the crops. This technique saves water and lowers the chances of water contamination by traditional irrigation which also lowers water activity for microorganisms to multiply.
The second field trip was to the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB). This was an interesting visit for me with a Food Technologist’s background the improvement of existing varieties of seeds and ultimately the preferred quality properties. The change in climatic conditions and ever-changing consumer needs can be fine-tuned, maintained but determining seed authenticity. Food processing engineering, Food Quality and safety can be done with ease without focusing on reintroducing nutritional properties lost during processing just by ensuring the desired properties are intensified at a molecular level from the very beginning of the food chain.
I feel privileged to be exposed to food systems, sustainability and bioinformatics solutions especially from the United Kingdom with the potential change of food legislation of #Brexit. This is the best time to understand every factor in the supply chain and understanding the future of food for every proposed law. I still continue to seek knowledge in this regard and see how best to share knowledge to live up to the purpose of THE BIG MOVE!