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Addressing malnutrition will add $29b to national income, says Nanono

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Malnutrition

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono said addressing malnutrition and meeting nutrition targets of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) would inject additional $29b into Nigeria’s national income.

Nanono disclosed this at a press conference held at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Oyo State, ahead of the 2019 Nutritious Food Fair (NFF), aimed at combatting malnutrition, especially among women and children.
 
The NFF is a yearly event organised by HarvestPlus and its sectoral partners including IITA, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and the private sector to raise the awareness needed to change the narrative of malnutrition in the country.

Represented by Director of Agriculture, Engr. Frank Satumari, Nanono said tackling malnutrition challenges is not only social service but also economic strategy.

The three-day NFF programme will hold from November 13 to 15, 2019 and will be officially opened on November 13 by Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde. It is expected to feature top government functionaries, such as ministers and heads of agencies in Agric sector.

Country Director for HarvestPlus, Paul Ilona, said over 10,000 participants from eight countries, but mostly from across Nigeria are expected to take part in the fair themed: “Nutrition Is Everyone’s Business.”

Ilona said Nigeria has a major problem of malnutrition, advising that people should not only consider eating but also adopt a culture of eating what they grow, which is an essential means of nourishing the body. 

IITA Deputy Director-General for Partnerships and Delivery, Dr. Kenton Dashiell, commended HarvestPlus for its efforts to end malnutrition. He said the problem of malnutrition limits the potential abilities of children.

“We have a major problem of malnutrition in Nigeria, children cannot reach their full potential. This makes me sad…And we must look for ways to solve this. The NFF provides an opportunity for stakeholders to take joint action against malnutrition.

To show their endorsement to the upcoming event, Nollywood stars represented by Segun Arinze, and Francis Duru joined other partners in IITA to play a novelty football match at IITA. Also, Nestle will be participating in the event.


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