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HarvestPlus Partners with Nutrition Commission to Promote Consumption of Biofortified Crops – The Sun Nigeria

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HarvestPlus, a global agricultural organization, is working closely with the Kaduna State Food and Nutrition Board (SCFN) to promote the consumption of fortified crops rich in micronutrients and vitamins.

Yousuf Fuad, Nigeria’s country manager, made the news on the sidelines of a second-quarter coordination and review meeting with local government nutrition officials (NFPs) in Zaria on Saturday.

The Nigeria News Agency (NAN) reports that the conference was organized by the PBC with the support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Fu’ad told NAN that HarvestPlus will improve nutrition and public health by developing and promoting biofortified food crops rich in vitamins and minerals.

He said the organization is working with partners to combat hidden hunger by scaling staple crops grown to be rich in essential vitamins and minerals.

He argues that bioenhanced climate-friendly crops can sustainably improve the health, resilience and livelihoods of smallholder farmers and low-income consumers, thereby making food systems more nutritious and inclusive. I explained that it is useful for

The country manager said the organization is partnering with SCFN to use food-based approaches to complement existing nutrition initiatives in the state.

He explained that the organization works with seed producers and farmers across the state to grow thousands of tons of vitamin A corn, cassava and sweet potatoes.

He explained that extension workers are training and connecting farmers on where to get seeds and how to grow them, adding that iron-rich millet will be introduced soon.

However, much of the produce is not consumed within the state and is sold to other states, depriving households of access to nutrient-rich crops, he said.

“80% of bio-enhanced seeds are produced in Zarya. Farmers make money from nutrient-rich food, but they don’t consume it.

“This has necessitated partnerships to work closely with the Commission and all nutrition stakeholders in the nutrition sector to ensure that all men, women and children in our communities have access to crops.

“What we want to see is that through the legions they grow and consume, they gain access to micronutrients and vitamins that improve their nutritional status,” he said.

Female extension workers from the Kaduna Agricultural Development Authority have been mobilized to promote nutrition education and information at the local level for women, said Fuad.

“This is because we’ve realized that the opportunities aren’t reaching women in the community. Only men are taking advantage of it,” he said.

He revealed that HarvestPlus, with funding from the UK Department for Foreign Affairs, Commonwealth and Development, will implement climate-adapted nutritious crop scaling through its Market Systems programme.

He said the two-year project will be implemented in Kano, Kaduna, Jigawa, Adamawa and Gombe provinces.

“Through this project, HarvestPlus will enhance the climate, nutrition and economic resilience of smallholder farmers and consumers.

“This will be achieved by strengthening the climate-friendly bio-enhanced market to work more effectively with poor farmers, women and small entrepreneurs.

“This program will create rural jobs, increase income, increase climate resilience and improve access to healthy diets,” Fu’ad said.

PBC Undersecretary Malam Bashir Muhammad praised the initiative and said the SCFN’s main role is to coordinate all nutrition activities in the state.

Muhammad told NAN that HarvestPlus has been implementing projects in the province for the past six years, but that it has nothing to do with SCFN and is promoting further community interventions.

“With our current partnership, we will work with organizations to ensure that most of the crops produced in the state are accessible to the population to help address malnutrition in the state,” he said. rice field.

Earlier, Ms Linda Yakubu, director of the Development Assistance Coordination and Budget Committee (PBC), appealed to the organization to train local government NFPs on the initiative, and Fu’ad obliged.