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FAO challenges FG on update of food composition tables

By John Akubo, Lokoja and Charles Akpeji, Jalingo
06 December 2018   |   4:11 am
To check malnutrition and stunted growth among children in Nigeria, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation...

UNICEF advocates adequate attention to nutrition
To check malnutrition and stunted growth among children in Nigeria, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has challenged the federal government to revolutionise its food composition tables and promote nutritious indigenous foods.

FAO director for Nigeria, Dr, Suffyan Koroma, made the call at a three-day National Consultation and Capacity Development Workshop on Integration of Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture for Agriculture extension agents that kicked off on Tuesday in Lokoja.

Represented by Nutrition and Food Systems Expert with FAO, Dr. Mawuli Sablah, the country director said that malnutrition, including under-nutrition, over-nutrition and micronutrient deficiencies, remained the major challenge in Nigeria’s socio-economic development.

According to him, the 2018 Global Nutrition Report, launched a few days ago in Thailand, also reveals that Nigeria is not on track in meeting up with most of the World Health Assembly Global Nutrition targets, especially for anaemia in women of reproductive age (WRA) and overweight/obesity in adults.

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State represented by the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Kehinde Oloruntoba, while declaring the workshop open, said that the statistics on malnutrition was frightening.

The workshop was organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) in collaboration with Synergos Nigeria to build capacity of targeted agric extension agents on Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture under the State Partnership for Agriculture (SPA).

Piqued by the high rate of malnutrition in the north east, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has suggested that adequate attention should be given to the nutrition of women, especially the pregnant ones, to reduce severe malnutrition.

Journalists, they also advocated, should come together in leadership to take action on malnutrition for a better growth and well-nourished Nigeria in the future.

UNICEF consultant, Olumide Osanyinpeju, stated this yesterday in Yola at the two-day dialogue with journalists and On-Air Personalities (OAPs) on child malnutrition in the north east.

He expressed sadness that the issue of malnutrition was being treated with levity.

“You are encouraged to raise awareness and understanding of the problem of malnutrition in Nigeria and resource allocation for food and nutrition security at all levels,” he charged journalists.

The workshop, organised by UNICEF in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, was graced by media practitioners from all over the country.