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Harvest-Plus refutes being part of $200bn bio-fortification fund

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Dr. Paul Ilona

Harvest-Plus Nigeria has denied being part of purported $200 billion food bio-fortification of crops as reported by some dailies.

The Country Manager of Harvest-Plus Nigeria, Dr Paul Ilona, said the publication was unfounded, and emanated from those bent on maligning the image of the international organisation.

He said the budget of Nigeria is even far less than the said fund, saying journalists and media houses should make efforts to verify information before making such a sensitive issue a public knowledge.

The said publication had said Nigeria would benefit from the $200 billion crop production programme sponsored by US-based agency, Harvest Plus.

According to reports, Nigeria is one of the African nations that would get the grant via the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), in Ibadan, meant to provide bio-fortified foods.
The agency in Nigeria, in partnership with Nigerian scientists, have developed bio-fortified Vitamin A cassava, maize and sweet potato in the global efforts to reduce malnutrition, stunting and micro-nutrient deficiencies, illnesses and deaths.

However, Ilona said the publication was a concoction that neither emanated from the headquarters of the agency in the United States nor from the Nigeria’s country office.

When contacted, Communication and Knowledge Sharing Expert of IITA, Mr Godwin Atser, also said the publication was false news that should be disregarded.


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