By Murtala Muhammad
The USAID funded Feed the Future Nigeria Rural Resilience Activity is to conduct a Roundtable Discussion aimed at addressing Malnutrition in the Northeastern part of the country through Nutrition-Sensitive Business Models.
The Roundtable Discussion, titled “Addressing Malnutrition through
Nutrition-Sensitive Businesses in Northeast Nigeria”, will be held on September 28, 2023 in
Gombe, Northeast Nigeria.
This is part of efforts to tackle malnutrition in the Northeastern part of the country occasioned by conflicts, population displacement, food insecurity, and limited access to healthcare facilities,
Malnutrition remains a pressing concern in the region where it struggled with one of the highest rates of acute malnutrition globally, impacting millions of children, including severe acute malnutrition cases.
In response to this crisis, exacerbated by conflict-related disruptions in agriculture, limiting food production and access to nutritious meals, the event aims to bring together key actors and stakeholders to seek innovative solutions, leveraging on partnerships between the private and public sectors.
A statement by the Chief of Party, Feed the Future Nigeria Rural Resilience Activity, John Rachkara says these solutions include the commercialization of nutrition-dense foods, backward integration, and access to improved bio-fortified seed among others.
It states that “the Roundtable Discussion will serve as a platform for nutrition stakeholders and actors to facilitate investable nutrition business models by private sector players, promoting sustainable and scalable approaches to combat malnutrition in Northeast Nigeria.”
The statement also says the event would foster collaboration and partnerships among stakeholders, enhancing collective efforts to combat the impact of malnutrition, Share evidence of commercially viable and scalable nutrition-sensitive business models that address malnutrition effectively.
“It will Identify common challenges, share lessons learned, and explore opportunities for scaling up successful nutrition business models and strategies as well as co-create a roadmap for investment and continued collaboration, knowledge sharing, and joint initiatives among private sector participants.”
“It will also be an avenue to promote increased inclusion of women, youth, and other vulnerable groups in nutrition initiatives.” – the statement says.
The event will bring together a diverse range of participants, including: Private sector entities and specialized businesses, such as manufacturers and producers of nutrition-dense foods, financial
service institutions as well as agribusiness service providers.
It would also engage Government agencies and relevant
stakeholders, including National Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Food processors and Implementing Partners.
Other stakeholders to be engaged are representatives from seed companies and the Department of Crop Protection, Pest Control and Storage.
The roundtable event aims to achieve key outcomes which includes: Facilitating collaboration and networking among professionals and organizations involved in nutrition to identify potential areas for collaboration, drive investment, and explore joint initiatives while Identifying key challenges, lessons learned, and opportunities for scaling up successful nutrition strategies and business models in the Northeast Nigeria to develop a roadmap for collaborative action to accelerate nutrition-sensitive business models through partnership, investment, and information sharing.