From: Magnus Eze, Abuja
An international non-governmental organisation, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) has said it would support Nigeria by conducting food consumption survey for the country.
Executive Director of GAIN, Lawrence Haddad, stated this in Abuja, at the weekend, explaining that the organisation would partner other bodies to carry out the exercise.
Haddad, who is in Nigeria as part of activities marking the organisation’s 15th anniversary, stated that food systems form a quarter of any national economy, maintaining that malnourished countries have 10 per cent GDP lower.
He regretted that foods in the country were not properly fortified despite the legislations on it and urged all stakeholders in Nigeria to work assiduously to reduce consumption of junk foods.
According to him, Nigeria would become more of a powerhouse in Africa if it invests properly in nutrition.
Also speaking, Senior Advisor on Food Security and Nutrition to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development; Dr. Adeyinka Onabolu said it was important to know what Nigerians eat, as this would enable proper fortification of foods and avoid under nutrition or over nutrition.
Onabolu also said the ministry had through rapid assessment of the traditional foods in the various geo-political zones ensured that the menu of the Federal Government’s school feeding programme was nutritional.
She however, regretted that Nigerians rarely pay attention to product information before making purchases.
In his remarks, Coordinator of GAIN’s Post-harvest Loss Alliance for Nutrition (PLAN), Dr. Augustine Okoruwa, revealed that the organisation was working with the Federal Government and other partners to carry out cold chain capacity mapping for the country.