Stakeholders in the agricultural sector seek solutions and collaborations of all to solve the challenges of food insecurity and micronutrient deficiency through best practices and biofortified foods.
Commenting, Prof. Ibiyemi Olayiwola, Department of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, said the event was timely due to the food insecurity and nutrition situation in the country.
Olayiwola said the country needs to expand because “insecurity is causing poor food intake and nutritional insecurity is causing poor quality of life.”
According to her, people are not living very well and the labor force is affected; women are affected and babies are not growing as they should.
“Less than 20 percent of children in Nigeria do not have an adequate diet, because mothers cannot diversify from five food groups and the child is not being given adequate micronutrient food,” he said.
However, Olayiwola called for collaborative efforts to address the looming challenge of food and nutrition insecurity, as it has ripple effects in all aspects of life.
In his remarks, Mr. Niyi Adebisi, Oyo State Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, said that a nation that cannot make nutritious food available, accessible and affordable to its citizens throughout the year, could be spending more in care management than could be avoided. .
Adebisi said: “That money can be invested in another profitable company.
“It is a source of joy for me to note that GAIN trained more than 500 (farmers, processors and aggregators) and trained them, such as cassava cuttings with vitamin A, OFSP (orange flesh sweet potato) vines, organic and foliar fertilizers.
“Herbicides to 110 farmers in the four selected local government areas: Afijio, Ido, Oyo West and Iseyin in Oyo State in the last two months to strengthen nutrition in priority staple foods.
“This will increase the consumption of nutritious foods, their families and the entire population and also the use of nutritious varieties of target staple foods in processed foods.”
Also, Ms. Mercy Olorunfemi, Project Manager, under the Strengthening Nutrition in Priority Commodities (SNIPS) Project, told Nigerian News Agency on the sidelines that the rationale behind the event was to look at the agriculture through the lens of nutrition.
“Micronutrient deficiency is a problem. Many people did not have the proper nutrient to function as they should.
“Women, lactating mothers and children are at risk of this deficiency and that is why we are implementing this project, because we are strengthening nutrition in the priority stable foods that we consume,” said Olorunfemi.
In addition, Mr. Isaac Faniyi from the Agriculture Bank, said that the event was to let all stakeholders know that food and nutrition security issues were a joint responsibility.
Faniyi said: “It must be a bottom-up approach as everyone must be involved; government, private sector and individuals.
Also, Ms. Atinuke Lebile, CEO of Cato Foods, said that from home, the emphasis should be on nutritious food.
Lebile stressed the need to educate parents and farmers on the best ways to farm, because excess herbicides and pesticides would also affect what is grown.
The Nigerian News Agency, reports that the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) is implementing the Strengthening Nutrition in Priority Commodities (SNIPS) Project in Nigeria in partnership with GIZ and the Green Innovation Center for the Agricultural and Food Sector in Nigeria.
Source Credit: NAN