• Thursday, June 20, 2024
businessday logo


Nigeria kicks off plant-based revolution to healthier, climate-friendly diet

Nigeria kicks off plant-based revolution to healthier, climate-friendly diet

The launch this month of the ProVeg office in Nigeria holds great promise for dietary transition.

A new food awareness organisation has been launched in Nigeria called ProVeg Nigeria, which aims to promote healthy and tasty food that is both climate and animal-friendly.

ProVeg Nigeria will be heralding its message right across the country to get more people excited about the many benefits of plant-based diets.

One of the main activities of the new ProVeg Nigeria team will be to bring delicious plant-based food to the people – in markets, streets, schools, and hospitals – so they can find out firsthand how tasty a plant-based diet really is.

“I’m truly thrilled about the opening of the ProVeg Nigeria office and the impact we will have in raising awareness about the need to transform the food system to help people transition to healthier, more climate-friendly diets,” Hakeem Jimo, the new Country Director of ProVeg Nigeria, said.

“The people who will benefit most from this transition are those in the Global South for whom land pressures from animal agriculture have forced them to leave their land. Our policy work will push for a national strategy that implements a better food system by encouraging food innovation, particularly in the plant-based egg, milk, and protein spaces,” Jimo added.

ProVeg Chef Bola Adeyanju, who has worked as an inspiring Ambassador for Chefs for Change, will be on hand to demonstrate just how easy and delicious it is to incorporate plant-based proteins into traditional Nigerian cuisine.

Read also: Firm launches tech to deepen access to clean water

“You can make all the typical Nigerian food like Suya, Asun, and even Nkwobi and stews like Egusi and Efo Riro and of course Nigeria’s popular Jollof Rice with fried meat all in a mouth-watering plant-based style. We will be cooking up these treats – possibly in a market or university near you – or tell us where we should come to, and then get a taste of how great plant-based life can be,” Bola said.

Prior to joining the ProVeg global network, the Nigerian team had been conducting outreach at schools, churches, and mosques, as well as getting plant-based options on menus of restaurants and Nigeria’s famous “bukkas” street food vendors.

Jimo and Bola are joined by Marybeth Ubanwa, the Campaign and Communications Manager for ProVeg Nigeria and plant-based crusader. With a degree in International Law and Diplomacy, Marybeth will expand ProVeg Nigeria’s growth and reach in its mission to support food system transformation.

“The impact we have in Lagos, and in Nigeria, can easily be extended across the continent, and to lovers of African cuisine worldwide”, Ubanwa said.

“Already this week ProVeg Nigeria will be heading to the University of Nigeria in Nsukka to speak about ‘Food Systems Transformation: Reimagining the Future of Protein Supply in Nigeria’. We are looking to work with students and influencers across the country. Please reach out!”, Ubanwa said.

ProVeg Nigeria will be partnering with stands in universities and markets where people can experience plant-based food as part of the campaign to give out free 50,000 high-protein meat alternatives food samples.

ProVeg Nigeria is only the 11th country in the international network of ProVeg International. Other countries are China, the United States, Germany, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and others.

ProVeg Nigeria is part of ProVeg International, a global food awareness organisation which is campaigning to replace animal consumption with alternative protein by 50 percent by 2040.

Nigerian meat consumption is currently predicted to rise by more than 300 percent up to 2040, along with a doubling of the current population of over 200m, the third most populous nation by 2050. “We really welcome Nigeria to the ProVeg fold.”