Dr Paul Ilona, the country manager of Harvestplus, an international agriculture organisation, says over one million smallholder farmers grow bio-fortified food crops in Nigeria. Ilona disclosed this in Ibadan on Tuesday during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He said that no fewer than six million people consumed more nutritious foods from bio-fortified crops in the country through the efforts of Harvestplus to address malnutrition. “Our on-farm yield increases from bio-fortified crops is estimated at 20% over local varieties, over 8,000 persons are estimated to be employed directly or indirectly by investors in the bio-fortified sector.
“We trained over 200 extension agents now, continuously rolling out training on good agricultural practices and quality processing of bio-fortified products.
“We were able to include bio-fortification into four key policy documents of the Ministries of Agriculture, Health, Budget and National Planning aimed at creating an enabling environment for investors.
“Also, bio-fortification was included in budgets of federal and four state governments; over 20 international and local NGOs are mainstreaming bio-fortification into their livelihood programmes,” he said.
Ilona said that the inclusion of bio-fortified foods into the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP) of the government was one of its latest achievements. Read more