• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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NGOs trains 45 MSMEs from Nasarawa, Benue on safe, massive production of consumables rich in Vitamin A

NGOs trains 45 MSMEs from Nasarawa, Benue on safe, massive production of consumables rich in Vitamin A

…Says proper processing, and packaging reduce the risk of contamination

About 45 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), drawn from Benue and Nasarawa States, that are into processing and packaging of food products, have been trained and encouraged to produce products from crops rich in Vitamin A, in line with the best standard practice.

The training, organised by a Non-governmental Organization ((NGO), Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), took place in Lafia, the capital of Nasarawa State, and was essentially to support the growth of NSMEs with funds for the assive production of food rich in Vitamin A.

The MSMEs, who were specifically drawn from four local government areas each from the two states, were also trained on modalities for the safe processing and packaging of various types of consumables rich with vitamin A.

Kefas Musa, the lead consultant of Herald Consultants and facilitator of the programme, the participants were carefully selected and trained on safe food processing, packaging and marketing, and on how to run successful businesses for profit making.

The consultant said GAIN and other partners in nutritional food production are not relenting in supporting owners of MSMEs to grow their businesses with funds and technical know-how and to encourage massive production of products from crops with vitamin A.

He, however, expressed worry about how most of these finished products are not found in markets, despite the huge investment.

“We told them how to package their products without destroying the vitamin A in the process of production, storage and transportation to the market,” he said.

Musa then explained how packaging improves the shelf life of a product, to protect the quality and safety and to also prevent it from damage and contamination.

He tasked the MSMEs to carve a niche for themselves and to register their brand with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to enable them to access support from the government and other other partners, as such helping in maintaining the freshness of the products, protecting from dirt, insects, dampness, and breakage.

“Without packaging, your products will be vulnerable to hazards during distribution and storage thereby making them unsafe for consumption.

“Packaging serves as an identification of the product, as it is packaged in a special-sized, colourful container to keep its difference from competitors’ products,” he added.

Orngu Africa-Orngu, Junior Associate, Strengthening Nutrition In Priority Staples in GAIN said, the training was aimed at ensuring the security of food nutrition in humans.

He added that the organisation was supporting farmers, and owners of MSMEs as well as other other small businesses to strengthen value chains, thereby improving nutritional products.

According to Africa-Orngu, nutrition security was one of the most pressing challenges for sustainable social and economic development in the country.

“Meeting this need is our target to tackle malnutrition because the diets of many Nigerians are poor.

“Many Nigerians are currently experiencing vitamin and mineral deficiencies leading to severe health outcomes including premature and preventable death of children under five,” he added.

Ehada Isa, from Nasarawa State and Nguveren Ukange from Benue State, who spoke on behalf of other participants, expressed gratitude for the training received from the organisation.

They said they were told how to package and market their products as well as how to operate a successful and sustainable business.

They however pledged to use the knowledge gained to improve their businesses and package their products to ensure safety.