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Experts identify African Yam Bean as panacea to malnutrition

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Experts and other stakeholders in agriculture and food sector have identified African Yam Bean (AYB) as a food security crop with numerous benefits, capable of tackling malnutrition in the country.

They made the assertion during an event organised by Peas’n Chips Entrepreneurs project; International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Agroimpact Projects and Empowerment Initiative, UI Women’s Society.

The Peas’n Chips Entrepreneurs Project Stakeholder Networking Specialist, Dr. Sarafat Tijani, said AYB provides excellent source of protein, especially for vegans and vegetarians.

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Tijani said the crop could prevent diabetics, obesity and cancer because it is rich in flavonoid and antioxidant that prevents cancer.

The Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, UI, Prof. Stella Odebode, on her part, said AYB has lots of potential in promoting food security in Africa and should be promoted.

Odebode pointed out that the crop is unique and the development could help to promote food and nutrition security in the country.

The Project Research Co-investigator IITA/UI, Dr Morufat Balogun, emphasised that AYB is a drought tolerant crop in which the bean and tubers are edible and increases food diversity.

Balogun, a geneticist, added that the crop was resilience because it could stand extreme weather conditions while improving soil fertility.

She said the crop could be used to alleviate malnutrition during food scarcity and could fill food, nutrition and livelihood gaps if policies are put in place to establish sustainable value chains and export markets of the crop.

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