Experts list ways to tackle malnutrition
Experts have stated that Nigeria stands a better chance at curtailing the scourge of malnutrition if stakeholders in the health, agriculture and beverages sectors promote the production and consumption of locally-grown nutritious foods.
This was their submission at the second edition of the Nutritious Food Fair (NFF) 2016 at the weekend with the theme, Multisectoral Partnerships to Promote More Nutritious Crops and Foods.
The fair, held at the Calabar International Convention Centre (CICC) in Cross River State, was organised by HarvestPlus, a non-profit organisation involved in development and delivery of staple crops that are rich in vitamins and minerals. It engages stakeholders in the health, education, manufacturing and agriculture sectors on issues around the production and consumption of more nutritious foods in Nigeria.
Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, in his address said the link between nutrition and agriculture needed to be strengthened to ensure that Nigerians consume more nutritious foods.
Ogbeh, represented by Winifred Ochimabo, commended HarvestPlus for hosting the fair. He said he was fully committed to supporting policies and initiatives that would promote production of more nutritious crops.
Deputy Director, Micronutrient Deficiency Control Unit at the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. John Uruakpa, said the event was instrumental to driving advocacy and boosting awareness on the available options for collaboration among key stakeholders in sectors and industries involved in the production of nutritious food in Nigeria.
Also, Country Manager, HarvestPlus Nigeria, said that this year’s edition of the fair marked a giant stride in the quest to tackle malnutrition in the country.
He said: “We are excited to be here. We expect that interventions at this fair would change the landscape of production and consumption of more nutritious foods and contribute to reducing mortality rate in children and women of child bearing age.”
A member, representing Ohaozara/Onicha/Ivo Constituency, Ebonyi State at the House of Representatives and chairman of its House Committee on Agriculture Institutions and Colleges, Linus Okorie, said the event was an innovative platform to engage experts, policy-makers, farmers and residents of the host-state, Cross River, on malnutrition and healthy living.
“I am excited about what HarvestPlus is doing and how they are bringing everybody together to have a conversation on nutritious foods. This is supporting government’s efforts to tackle malnutrition from the policy-making angle. Here, we are meeting with the people and telling them what they need to know about eating the right food, at the right time and for the right reasons,” he said.
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