Nigerians have been advised to embrace nutritious staple crops as an effective and sustainable approach to addressing micronutrient malnutrition.
This was the consensus at a Building Nutritious Food Basket (BNFB) Project Media Training in Abuja.
Speaking at the training, the Project Manager, Building Nutritious Food Basket (BNFB) Project, Dr. Hilda Munyua, said that biofortified foods have the capacity to safe lives and grow the Nigerian economy.
She noted that the rate of malnutrition in Nigeria is very high but are evenly spread across the different states in the country.
Dr. Munyua pointed out that Nigeria spends over five billion dollars in food importation which can be averted if the country invests in nutritious staple foods also known as Biofortified foods.
She added that nutritious staple food are natural foods that are harmless to the body as they contain the essential vitamins.
Also speaking, the Country Manager International Patato Centre, Nigeria, Dr. Olapeju Phorbee, said that already Nutritious Staple Foods are widely accepted in Nigeria.
She said that plans are being made to get more farmers involved in the planting of such crops like the Orange-flesh sweet potatoes, Provitamin A maize and casava for more availablity in Nigeria.
She added that the crops when consumed could prevent acute malnutrition, hidden malnutrition and promote healthy living.
On his part, Dr. Jude Njoku of the National Root Crop Research Institute, Umudike, says the institute is working towards providing more stems for larger cultivation and circulation of nutritious staple crops.
The training was aimed at enlightening the media on the need to create awareness about the need to highlight issues of nutritious staple foods and engage the public to accept them for the socio-economic development of Nigeria.