NIGERIA: Minna: The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) Nigeria is targeting 32 Million Consumers of biofortified maize and cassava in eight states across Nigeria by 2022.
The Project Manager, Ijudai Jasada disclosed this during stakeholders and Value Chain Actors round table engagement in the promotion and consumption of vitamin A maize in Niger state.
According to him, 80 local government areas in eight states would scale up the implementation of biofortified cassava and maize production.
Jasada stated that for the Vitamin A cassava, the project targets to reach one million consumers directly and nine million consumers indirectly by the end of the project.
He also stated that for the vitamin A maize, the project targets to reach five million consumers directly and 17 million consumers indirectly by the end of 2022.
The Project Manager said that the eight states involved include Imo, Niger, Kaduna and Oyo for Vitamin A Maize and Osun, Cross River, Nasarawa and Anambra for vitamin A cassava.
He said that the commercialization of biofortified crops project aims to expand production and consumption of biofortified crops and foods through market development and to increase farmers productivity towards achieving food security in Niger state and Nigeria.
According to him, the measure is also part of efforts at improving nutritional output in rural areas to address the problem of malnutrition.
The Niger State Commissioner for Investment, Commerce and Industries, Mustapha Jubril said that the importance of vitamin A to our body development and immunity and its economic benefit to the farmers cannot be overemphasized.
The Commissioner who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Baba Wachiko Yahaya stated that the state is ready to partner with the organization to promote the consumption of Vitamin A in maize in Niger State.
“This campaign for the consumption of Vitamin A is quite apt and laudable particularly considering Niger State’s position in the production and consumption of the target crops maize and cassava.
“The importance of vitamin A to our body development and immunity cannot be overemphasized. This is why regulatory agencies across the world have intensified the infusion of these vital micronutrients in our foods at the various levels of production or processing.”
He urged the stakeholders and Value Chain Actors to scale up their use of biofortified crops as a means of enhancing their income and promoting public health.
The Secretary to the Niger State Government Ahmed Ibrahim Matane who was represented by the Permanent Secretary Economic Affairs, Hussaini Ahmed assured that the state government would avail farmers with fortified vitamin A products which would help to address night blindness and other related diseases in addition to improving the revenue base of Niger state.