Jalo Ibrahim, Permanent Secretary, Gombe State Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning delivering keynote address during the event. Photo: Murtala Muhammad
By Murtala Muhammad
The Permanent Secretary of Gombe state ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, Jalo Ibrahim calls for training and capacity building programmes for local food processing and producing entrepreneurs to ensure their thriving and sustainability of nutrition-sensitive businesses.
He made the call at the opening of a one-day Roundtable Discussion in Gombe, with the theme “Addressing Malnutrition through Nutrition-Sensitive Businesses in Northeast Nigeria”, organized by the USAID funded Feed the Future Nigeria, Rural Resilience Activity (RRA).
In a keynote address, the permanent Secretary, Gombe state ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, Jalo Ibrahim said nutrition-sensitive businesses can play a pivotal role in the production and distribution of nutrient-rich foods.
He said this could be done through producing foods that are fortified with essential vitamins and minerals, noting that these businesses contribute to improved dietary diversity and access to nutritious options for the local population.
According to him, through innovative approaches, they can make these foods affordable and accessible to the most marginalized communities.
Jalo Ibrahim said the businesses can serve as a source of employment and income generation in the Northeast sub region plagued by economic instability.
He said creating jobs, particularly for women and youth, would empower them to support their families and access better nutrition, noting that economic empowerment is a key driver of improved food security and nutrition outcomes.
Earlier, the Interim Deputy Chief of Party, Feed the Future Nigeria,, Rural Resilience Activity Nurein Abdul-Fatah said the five-year programme was being implemented in Adamawa, Borno, Gombe and Yobe states with special focus on Nutrition Sensitive Business Model.
He noted Nigeria was the first in Africa and the first in the world in terms of bad nutrition indices, noting that the Feed the Future RRA implenting states were identified as the first in need of interventions due the fact that they were affected by conflict compared to other places that have no experience of such cases.
The Roundtable event, which held at the International Conference Centre, Gombe drew Private sector entities and specialized businesses, such as manufacturers, processors and producers of nutrition-dense foods, agribusiness service providers as well as financial service institutions from the four northeastern states.
It also witnessed exhibition of various local food products by manufacturers, young entrepreneurs and Small Scale business owners.