BY AMINU DALHATU.
Global Alliance for Improve Nutrition GAIN has Called on farmers across Kaduna State to engage fully in producing Vitamin A maize in large quantity as part of effort to improving the nutritional health of Nigerians.
The Senior Project Manager, Supply Chain for Commercialisation, Global Alliance for improve Nutrition, Mr Godwin Enu Ehiabhi made this known during Agricbusiness innovation Clinic programme held in Kaduna.z
Mr Godwin Ehiabhi said many People in Nigeria are in needs of VITAMIN A, reiterated GAIN determination toward supporting and encouraging farmers for massive production of vitamin A Maize and other crops to improve access and consumption of safe and nutritious food in the country.
According to him, GAIN is currently working in four local governments in Kaduna which include lere, Chikun , Kauru and Giwa local governments to boosting maize production in the councils.
“This Programme is called Agric Business Innovation Clinic, it is Programme that we do bi-annually for one of our projects called the strengthening nutrition in priority staples.
He explained that, the Programme brings stakeholders together to brainstorm and chart a new course as it concerns Vitamin A Maize, which is one of the GAIN value chains and crops promote in Kaduna.
“So, the project seeks to promote production and consumption of safe and nutritious foods and in this case, we are looking at Vitamin A Maize, Orange flesh potato and Vitamin A enriched cassava and rice as a way of helping us to reduce the burden of malnutrition in Nigeria”
The Senior Project Manager Pointed out that, GAIN activity in Kaduna is divided into three components, the bio fortification process is one of the components, it speaks to supporting farmers to produce Vitamin A Maize in the state and the support includes training, to enable farmers move from producing ordinary maize to bio fortified maize.
According to him, the project also, support farmers with training and promoting access to this nutrient enriched crops in the various communities as well as the business support component supports businesses that work in this value chain, with technical assistance training that relates to supply chain efficiency and food safety.
“We are also supporting the businesses with grants through our micro-grants activities”
“We are also supporting people who have innovations that support supply chain efficiency with grant and technical assistance that will help improve their current activities”
The Global Alliance for improve Nutrition has also awarded two million naira each to Med Grains and Numical Industries as Microgrant Fund for Nutritious Food Businesses in Kaduna State.
He pointed out that, the initiative was launched under the Business Support workstream of the Strengthening Nutrition in Priority Staples Project SNiPS with a view to
empower women- and youth-led agribusinesses, farmer’s among others to promoting nutritious food products in the region.
He said the GAIN Microgrant Funding was established to bridge gap by providing free grants to
entrepreneurs operating in Vitamin A Maize, Vitamin A Cassava, and Orange-Fleshed and Sweet Potato to support commercialize nutrient-enriched food products in Kaduna, Benue,
Nasarawa, and Oyo states.
Speaking with newsmen, one of the grant recipients, Mr Oyewale Ahmed expressed gratitude to GAIN for presenting the two million naira grand.
“Am grateful to GAIN. I applied, they came for visitation and I was award the grant. Part of the grants would be used for procurement of vitamin A Maize, which is our major raw material that we use in the production of Vitamin A Maize Flour and Vitamin A dried Pap.
“We also to upgrade our water quality because water forms one of the major components of our processing of Vitamin A pap. So, we are going to buy quality water filter and the rest”
Also another recipient, Mr Harry Gaiya said he was looking for an opportunity to display his product potentials, saying that the grant is not just about the money, it is an opportunity for him to be able to let the whole world know what they are doing.
“We are into the manufacturing of what is popularly known as tombrown”.