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Monday, September 25, 2023

HarvestPlus urges Nigeria to engage in crop bio-fortification

A Partner of HarvestPlus, an international agricultural organisation, Mr Pelumi Aribisala, says that Nigeria stands to gain a lot through the bio-fortification of crops.

Bio-fortified crops in Africa

He said this in Ibadan on Friday, February 16, 2018 at a training organised for members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) serving in Akinyele Local Government Area, Oyo State, on bio-fortification of crops.

Aribisala described bio-fortification as a process of using conventional breeding techniques to infuse essential micro-nutrients into staple crops.

He said that HarvestPlus and its partners had developed, through bio-fortification, 25 different value added products in the country through vitamin A cassava and maize.

He urged corps members to exploit the business opportunities that were available in bio-fortified crops.

“You can engage in planting or production of vitamin A cassava and maize even while serving; you can also engage in garri production.

“Besides, you can produce odourless fufu, custard and other products from vitamin A cassava and maize; you can also supply fufu to restaurants and other places.

“The start-up capital for the business is small but it has several benefits; we have made the products available, especially for youths who want to engage in the business.

“As a corps member, you can be easily linked up to farmers who will patronise you.

“So, look at any of the products you are interested in and start dealing in them; we promise to give you every assistance you need,” he said.

Speaking, a corps member, Mr Eugene Igbaifua, thanked HarvestPlus for the training, saying that it had been very beneficial.

“I now know that I can be self-employed through crop bio-fortification; I can also make business plans on different businesses for any investor.

“I can do business plans for establishment of garri/fufu processing centres and the optimisation techniques in making combo bites snacks,” he said.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that HarvestPlus improves nutrition and public health by developing and promoting bio-fortified food crops that are rich in vitamins and minerals.

The organisation also provides global leadership on bio-fortification evidence and technology, with emphasis on naturally bio-fortified crops.

By Chidinma Ewunonu-Aluko

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