• Monday, May 27, 2024
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Kogi to domesticate FG’s food security, nutrition strategy

Kogi to domesticate FG’s food security, nutrition strategy

In a bid to fast -track nutrition-sensitive agricultural practice in the state,  Kogi State   Government has recently commenced the process of domesticating the Federal Government’s Agricultural Sector Food Security and Nutrition Strategy (ASFSN).

Kehinde Oloruntoba, the state commissioner for Agriculture, disclosed this at a workshop organized by Synergos Nigeria for critical stakeholders to facilitate the domestication of the ASFSN document in Lokoja.

He pointed out that the state government would enforce the domestication and functionality of the strategy to guarantee food security and balanced diet to check stunted growth and other health challenges especially among women and children, noting that the home-grown school feeding policy had been adopted in the state to promote a balanced diet, increase children’s mental capacity and mitigate stunted growth.

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Victor Adejoh, field manager, Benue and Kaduna states Synergos Nigeria said that Synergos, under the State Partnership for Agriculture (SPA) organized the workshop to facilitate the domestication through a participatory approach.

He also posited that the strategy document would help to guide the participants to look at key priority areas for food security in the state and also help to plan for Nutrition-sensitive Agriculture in its annual budget.

He said “we are looking at the key priority areas set up by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) where the policy is domiciled to see possible areas of alignment to enable the state to evolve her own strategy.

At the end of the workshop, we are hoping that we would have instituted a process of ensuring inputs to the domestication strategy with the key stakeholders from Ministries of Agriculture, Health, Women Affairs and FMARD. It’s a strategy that integrates other ministries,”

Also speaking, Funmi Akinyele, nutrition consultant for Synergos said the strategy was created and launched in May by FMARD and that the organisation is now trying to get each state to look at the policy, the strategic priorities and identify the easiest entry point.

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Akinyele emphasized that nutrition had become a critical issue in the country because malnutrition statistics, 41 per cent of the 170 million Nigerians, were very high and very worrisome too, hence the need to address it from the food system perspective.

She maintained that domestication of the policy had become imperative because most of the smallholder farmers who grow over 65 per cent of the food eaten in the country hardly eat well and were malnourished, adding that the farmers grow the food, yet most of them are malnourished because they sell most of the food they grow for money. They sell the good ones and eat the bad ones and therefore, can’t get sufficient nutrient.

Nutrition and food security are so important to reduce the rate of malnutrition; increase agricultural production, income for smallholder farmers, economic growth and therefore, increase the health and well-being of Nigerians,” She added.

Victoria Nnakiaike, Lokoja