The Federal Government of
Nigeria has announced plans to
build nutrition into its mainstream
agricultural activities, using bio-fortification, home fortification and large and medium scale fortification in a value chain approach.
This was disclosed by the Permanent Secretary, Federal
Ministry of Agriculture and Rural
Development, Arc. Sonny Echono,
at the International Nutritious Food Fair
which took place at the International Institute for
Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Station,
Kubwa, Abuja, where he represented the Vice President,
Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
The Permanent Secretary stated
that the present Administration
views bio-fortification as
complementary to dietary enrichment and has therefore embraced a broad and comprehensive food systems approach to
He said, “We easily visualize how
food fortification fits into broader
agribusiness model to make nutritious food available, accessible and affordable to enable us provide diverse foods and make more foods more nutritious”.
Echono further explained that after a full decade of promoting
large scale fortification, it should equally be of importance to
optimize industry compliance to expected food fortification standards.
According to him, the bio fortified crops currently promoted include the Vitamin A rich cassava and orange flesh sweet potatoes.
He said Nigeria’s agricultural sector’s vision is to achieve a hunger-free country through an
agricultural sector that drives an all inclusive income growth, accelerates achievement of food
and nutritional security, generates employment and transforms Nigeria into a leading player in global food markets to grow wealth for millions of farmers.
To achieve this, he said the government has embarked on a comprehensive review and
resuscitation plan that revolves around unlocking the potentials of
agriculture through a total value chain to enable the private sector leadership grow food, create jobs and wealth, as well as improve nutrition.
According to him, malnutrition,
especially inadequate mineral and vitamins to women and children, posed a major challenge to the health of citizens, saying available
statistics have revealed that 30%
of our children and 20% of pregnant
women are malnourished; a
situation he said was not acceptable.
He therefore emphasized the
need to develop and multiply more
production nutrient rich crops and scale up bio-fortification
research through research institutes like IITA and Nutritional Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI)