The Gombe State Government through the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) has begun the training of 100 youth and women in suplementary food processing.
The Commissioner for STI, Dr Aisha Maigari stated this at the inauguration of the exercise on Thursday in Gombe.
She said the training exercise was part of comprehensive effort designed to reduce the burden of malnutrition in the state.
She said the ministry had trained 300 women on how to process local variety crops to produce balanced diet and complementary food for children in the past two years.
According to her, Gov. Inuwa Yahaya in 2021 approved the production of 120,000 sachets of 100 grammes complementary food for free distribution to deserving families across the state.
Maigari said that over 2,000 children benefitted from the exercise meant to improve their nutritional status.
The Commissioner noted that the complementary food produced in the state had been registered by the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), adding that the product had been suitable in tackling acute malnutrition.
The ministry, she said, was also sensitising women and other stakeholders on how to utilise local food items to improve nutrition of their children.
According to Maigari, the state government is working in collabiration with development partners to encourage production of complementary food in commercial quantity.
In her remarks, Wife of the Governor, Asma’u Yahaya said the state government accorded pririoty towards improving healthcare services and wellbeing of children.
Represented by the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Naomi Awak, Yahaya said the production of complementary food was key to addressing malnutrition.
Also speaking, Chairman, Gombe State Advocacy Working Group on Nutrition, Malam Alhassan Yahya lauded the gesture, adding that it would address malnutrition in the state.
Yahya noted that malnutrition denied many children the ability to enjoy a healthy living, hence the need strengthen effort at addressing the menace.
“This is to ensure that our children grow well with the right intelligence quotient to contribute to the development of the state,” he said.
He said it was imperative to devise alternative means to fight malnutrition by ensuring adequate provision of nutrients to children whose parents could not afford exorbitant prices of Ready-to-use Therapeutic Food (RUF).
For her part, Mrs Deborah Obise, Senior Intervention Lead, Food Processing and Value Addition, Mercy Corps Nigeria (MCN), urged the state government to encourage mass production of complementary food to boost its revenue base.
She reitrated commitment of the organisation to support government towards improving protection and wellbeing of children in the country.
The Community Initiative to Promote Peace (CIPP), a peace programme anchored by Mercy Corps Nigeria (MCN) has tasked parents to instil culture of peace, love and tolerance in their wards to foster unity and stability in the country.
The Programme Officer, CIPP, Mariagoretti Aya gave the advised at the Parenting for Peace workshop as part of activities to mark the 2022 International Peace Day, in Kano. The International Day of Peace (World Peace Day), is a celebration declared by the United Nations resolution and observed annually on Sept. 21. It is devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.
Aya noted that the role of parents in fostering peace and raising children that are tolerant and respectful of diversity was critical.
She said the parenting for peace workshop aimed at strengthening collaboration and synergy between State and Non-State actors in facilitating inclusive and sustainable peace and security processes.
According to her, the programme will increase collaboration and synergy in the development and implementation of effective local strategies for strengthening resilience of young people and vulnerable communities to violence and violent extremism.
The CIPP, she said, would also proffer recommendations and key actions towards strengthening positive parenting to address root causes of conflict, social inequalities, grievances, and other factors that increase vulnerability of young people to antisocial and violent dispositions.
She stressed that parenting for peace was critical to the maintenance of peace and stability, adding the programme would adopt deliberate steps to ensure full and equal participation of youth and women in peace building processes.
Aya said the programme had trained 360 women through women-focused initiatives tagged: Women Peacebuilding Councils (WPC) in Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Benue, Kogi and Plateau.
“CIPP programme builds their capacity and create linkages at the local and state level to ensure that women are playing a substantive role in peace building across various levels,” she said.
According to her, CIPP is a five-year peace building programme funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to prevent violent conflict in the most at-risk communities in six participating states.
She listed the states to include Benue, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kogi and Plateau.
Aya said the workshop was also designed to equip parents and other stakeholders with skills to aid prompt identification of violent extremism in the communities, early stages of radicalisation, improve local capacities to manage disputes and build sustainable Early Warning Early Response (EWER) mechanism.
“To increase collaboration among conflict vulnerable communities with government agencies, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), and local leaders to address root causes of conflict.
“It is also to deepen engagement of women in peace building and preventing violent extremism,” she said.
Also speaking, the Programme Facilitator, Gbenro Olajuyigbe urged government and development organisations to always equip the capacity of youths and other community members towards building resilience against violent extremism.
Earlier, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero urged parents to monitor their children and inculcate good societal values in them to maintain peace and security in the country.
Represented by the District Head of Fagge, Alhaji Mahmud Ado Bayero, the emir said criminal activities and vices could be traced to indiscipline and bad societal values.
While commending CIPP for the programme, the royal father charged community leaders to report suspecious persons and movements in their communities to security agencies.
For her part, the Permanent Secretary, Kano State Ministry of Women Affairs, Hajiya Amina Aminu enjoined parents to ensure proper upbringing of their wards.
She charged them to shoulder their responsibilities in order to ensure proper upbringing of their children.