The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) in Niger says it has begun training of farmers on family nutrition and hygiene.
Dr Mathew Ahmed, the State Programme Coordinator made this known while inaugurating the programme in Bida Local Government Area of the state.
Ahmed, who was represented by Hajiya Maimuna Ahmed, the programmes Rural Institution Gender Mainstreaming Officer, said that the programme was a nutrition sensitive intervention programme, through agriculture.
“We carried out a survey and realised that there was malnutrition among our farmers so we introduced the programme to ensure that they are healthy to carry out their farming activity,’’ he said.
He said that the family nutrition and hygiene programme aims at reducing malnutrition among the farmers by 75 per cent before the expiration of the VCDP.
Ahmed said that the facilitators and focal persons among the farmer groups were earlier trained at the state level, before ongoing step down training for the five participating local governments in the state.
“We are targeting 35 farmers from each of the participating local government areas of Shiroro, Katcha, Bida, Wushsishi and Kontagora,’’ he said.
Similarly, Alice Asorose, IFAD consultant in the state, said that the programme would expose the farmers to nutritional values in foods.
“We want them to differentiate between carbohydrate and protein. We want them to know what good dieting is all about. And this is what family nutrition and hygiene is all about,’’ she said.
Also, Hajiya Hajara Mohammed, chairperson, Dokoyegborolo Rice Processing Group in Bida, a participant, thanked IFAD-VCDP for the gesture, saying that it has improved their family lives.
Mohammed said that the programme sensitised them to manage the kitchen and food items to prepare hygienic and balanced diet for their families.
“We now have good knowledge on how to manage breast feeding and also enrich our food with the required vitamins,’’ she said.
The Federal Government was implementing a six year programme for rice and cassava VCDP in the six states of Anambra, Benue, Ebonyi, Niger, Ogun and Taraba.
The programme prepared in 2010 was approved for an IFAD loan of $74.4 million and grant of $500, 000 in April 2012.
The programme, which schedule to complete its projects on December 31, 2019, would terminate by June 30, 2020.