HarvestPlus injects over 200,000mt of vitamin a maize into markets
In a move to address malnutrition in the country, HarvestPlus, a global bio-fortifier of nutritious crops has introduced about 200,000mt of vitamin A maize into the Nigerian market. According to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) about 2.5 million children under the age of five are malnourished and have stunted growth in the country.
The Country Manager of HarvestPlus, Paul Ilona, who disclosed this in Lagos, said micronutrients malnutrition would lead to increased pressure on national health budgets and a weak labour force, which can be addressed with the adoption of biofortified crops.He noted that nutrition is an essential building block for growth and development, adding that vitamin A is identified among the three micro nutrients by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as most lacking in diets globally.
“Maize, which is high in carbohydrates and also rich in phosphorus, magnesium does not contain vitamins for improved visual function. The vitamin A maize introduced into the country has two comparative advantages; it is long term cost effective and it has the ability to reach the underserved rural population of the country.”
The country manager stressed that the long term consequences of insufficient amounts of essential micronutrients in human diets are devastating, as it plays a crucial role in human development.He added that its deficiency can cause birth defects, permanent physical and mental impairment, as well as increased risk of death, noting that maize crop serves as a key input in many manufacturing companies and the poultry industry.
The country manager said HarvestPlus would be holding its forthcoming nutritious food fair in Lagos From November 7 to 9, 2018, at the Landmark event Centre, Victoria- Island, Lagos.
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