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HarvestPlus Nigeria has promised to reach about 200million persons in the rural parts of the country with bio fortified foods by 2030.

Dr Paul Ilona, Country Director of HarvestPlus dropped the hint while speaking with members of the Food and Agriculture Writers Organisation of Nigeria (FAWON) during a training session on Bio-Fortified Foods for Malnourished Nigerians held in Ibadan.

He said that in the next 10 years from now the Nigeria’s population would have increased by 40 to 50 per cent and reaching 200million by then would just be reaching 70 or 80 per cent of Nigerians.

Ilona stated that the organisation globally is targeting one billion people but that Nigeria is tasking itself to reach 200million out of the number by 2030.

“To reach 200million persons is not a joke, the question is not around supply, farmers are producing and the deliveries of raw material to industries remain the primary challenge. If the railway system in Nigeria is working, it would have been a different story, our railway system is not working, the road networks are terrible and the cost of transportation is high.

Adding, “by the time you move vitamin A maize from Kaduna to Lagos and the trailer is charging you N400,000 how much is the raw materials itself. We know clearly that we have a fairly un-enabling environment for agricultural development in Nigeria but we know within the ambit of that, we still should be able to operate,” he said. AdvertisementAdvertisement

He stated that the strategies they planned to adopt is to engage many more medium and large scale food processors who will become off-takers for the millions of farmers who were cultivating bio fortified crops.

“We think very seriously that if we strengthen that partnership it is going to add lot more value. We have identified quite a number of multinationals and national food companies in Nigeria who are bio fortified friendly.

We will ensure that industries have access to bio- fortified raw materials and the products find their way to our target population.

“Our target population may not be those living in Ikeja or VGC. We are trying to target the most vulnerable of us. We have to move the products from the industry to where we have acute or serious malnutrition so that we can truly contribute to alleviating nutrition related ailment and challenges in the country,” he added.

Source: Independent

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