The Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Imo State, has concluded plans for the introduction of Biofortified Crops to improve nutrition and increase crop yields in the state.
Commissioner of Agriculture and Resources, Dr. Barthy Okorochukwu who disclosed this while speaking with journalists in Owerri on Tuesday, said the state would be hosting a Nutritious Foodfair in order to promote the venture.
Okorochukwu reflected that the ministry will be partnering with HarvestPlus, a company he mentioned is focused on complementing existing nutrition initiatives through development of crops with high-levels of micro nutrients and vitamins.
He said the fair themed “Improving resilience through nutritious food systems”, was aimed at providing an “operational platform for collective engagement, learning and networking for actors in the nutritious food sector in Nigeria”.
Okorochukwu added that stakeholders in the nutritious food space including policymakers, researchers, farmers and food processors are expected to key in to showcase and market innovations emerging in the sector.
The commissioner added that the fair would equally provide a platform for collective engagement, learning and job creation for youths.
Adding his voice, the HarvestPlus Country Director, Dr Yusuf Dollah, said the company provides technical support towards a successful agricultural value chain, stressing that they equally address issues around hunger and proper nutrition by ensuring that crops are biofortified with vitamins and micronutrients.
Dollar stated that the upcoming nutritious foodfair would provide avenues for training of rural women and students on how to acquire and grow improved crops with increased yields, saying counsellors woukd be availavle to provide guidance with practical sessions at the end of the food fair.
With the Commercialisation Manager of the company, Mr. Goodluck Ogu, positing that the food fair would feature enterprise development training for women in micro processing of nutritious foods, noting that there will be exhibition of business models and free products exhibition at the fair.