Governors, ministers, set for 2016 nutritious food fair
The Country Manager of HarvestPlus Nigeria, Paul Ilona, who announced this during a media parley held at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Oyo State, said the media parley was part of the organisation’s biannual partners review meeting, intended to assess the progress and strategies employed in the delivery of biofortification in Nigeria in 2016, and to draw a roadmap for 2017 and its delivery partners in four target states, including Oyo, Benue, Imo and Akwa-Ibom.
Expected guests at the event include; governors of Cross River State, Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade; Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano; Ministers of Agriculture and Health, Chief Audu Ogbeh and Prof. Isaac Adewole, respectively and World Food Prize Winners, Dr. Howarth Boius and Dr. Jan Low, among others.
“This year’s event is titled Multisectoral Partnership To Promote More Nutritious Crops and Foods. We, as always, do not have a commercial intention. We want to create linkages to promote partnerships in the nutritious food sector. We are providing a platform for conversation on and around nutrition, not in terms of quantity, but quality. We are using the fair as medium to get big industries to explore home-grown sources of nutritious staples as raw materials for their products,” he said.
HarvestPlus partner at the Akwa-Ibom State University (AKSU), Dr. Edna Akpan, said the event would help to showcase the job that HarvestPlus has embarked on for about five years and also avail farmers with opportunity to interface with off takers of their produce, adding: “The fair follows from the successes of the last edition. This year promises to be bigger. We would be in Cross River to host farmers and show them that there is immense value in what they do.”
The first edition of the Nutritious Food Fair held in Abuja, last year and attracted important government dignitaries including, representation from the office of the Vice President, as well as key stakeholders in the agricultural, research, health, education, development and food sectors.
This year’s event promises to be more engaging. The three-day fair would bring together stakeholders in International and National research institutions, Agriculture, Health, Education, Science & Technology and Trade and Commerce, including government representatives, development and donor agencies, small, medium and large scale food industries, input dealers, seed companies, researchers, farmers, processors, consumers, entertainment and media, among others. An estimated 5000 persons will participate in the event.
HarvestPlus leads a global effort to breed and disseminate micronutrient-rich staple food crops to reduce hidden hunger among malnourished populations. It is an interdisciplinary program that works with academic and research institutions, civil society organisations, governments, and the private sector in more than 40 countries. HarvestPlus is part of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Improved Nutrition and Health. HarvestPlus is coordinated by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).