The National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development has approved the mainstreaming of biofortification in all agricultural interventions in Nigeria.
The Harvestplus Event and Advocacy Officer, Ifeoma Okonkwo, made this known in a statement on Friday, June 18, 2021 in Ibadan, Oyo State.
Okonkwo said that the approval followed a proposal submitted by the Ministry of Agriculture in Ogun State, under the leadership of Dr Adeola Odedina, Commissioner in charge of the ministry.
She said that the approval was given at the 44th Regular Meeting of the Council on Thursday, June 17 hosted by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Abuja.
The theme of the event was “Nigeria’s Agriculture and Food Security in the Face of COVID-19, Floods and Insecurity.’’
Also, Odedina said that Ogun State Government was committed to addressing food and nutrition security.
He said that the state was actively engaged in providing seeds of improved and nutritious varieties to farmers, while working with relevant agencies and partners to facilitate technical and financial assistance to small holder farmers.
“Our team also collaborates with food processing industries and builds networks for raw material supply, thereby creating markets and building sustainability.
“Ogun has been found worthy by international partners led by HarvestPlus to host the seventh Annual Nutritious Food Alliance Fair.
“The nutritious food fair is an annual event that brings together stakeholders from the public and private sectors, locally and internationally. It comes up from Nov. 18 to Nov. 20 in Abeokuta,” he said.
Also, the Harvestplus Country Manager, Dr Paul Ilona, said that biofortification was the process by which the nutritional quality of food crops was improved through agronomic practices and conventional plant breeding.
“Biofortification differs from conventional fortification in that it aims to increase nutrient levels in crops during plant growth rather than through manual means during processing of the crops,” Ilona added.
Harvestplus is a non-governmental international agricultural organisation that facilitates the global effort to end hidden (malnutrition) hunger caused by lack of essential vitamins and minerals in the diet.
The organisation, which uses a process called biofortification (a process of conventional breeding to improve crops), has partnership with the Ogun government and several other international partners to achieve its goals.
By Chidinma Ewunonu-Aluko