Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Civil society organisations (CSOs) have been asked to mainstream creation of awareness on Biofortified with Vitamin A crops in their various programming thematic areas.
Speaking during the one day workshop on the importance of nutritious foods, mainstreaming of awareness creation on Biofortified with Vitamin A crops into programming activities for the year 2022, organized for CSOs and CBOs leaders in Imo State held in Owerri, the Nutrition Officer, Imo State, Mrs. Lois Onyike noted that there’s need for the CSOs and NGOs to begin to talk nutritious foods at every fora they found themselves especially ensuring that they capture same in their thematic programming activities for the year, adding that the campaign for hidden hunger which is dangerous needs the collective efforts of everyone.
She hinted that when there’s poor health as a result of nutritional deficiency, it reduces productivity, drains the resources of households and creates poverty. She encouraged the participants to make conscious effort in increasing the nutritious contents in the things they eat.
She asked the participants to think globally and act locally by starting from their little corner to begin create awareness in how to store/preserve locally made Biofortified with Vitamin A crops, encouraging them to run away from vitamin A deficiency.
In his remarks, the Commercialization of Biofortified Crops (CBC) project partner in Imo and the program Director Foundation for Livelihood Advancement, Elder Kenneth Amogu took the participants through the activities of the Foundation since the project started in Imo, adding that before now, the knowledge and intake of Biofortified with Vitamin A maize has been in the low ebb, stressing that with the activities of the organization, the awareness has increased, especially that farmers, Agro Dealers, processors and households are beginning to talk about Biofortified with Vitamin A maize and its Commercialization.
Amogu noted that the CBC project is supported by Harvestplus and GAIN, adding that FLA remains very grateful to them for the support.
In his contribution, the Board of Trustees Chairman of FLA, Rev. Dr. G. S. Adaka stated that the workshop was designed to equip civil society organization leaders in the state with very relevant information about malnutrition in the state, the importance of Nutritious Foods, the challenges faced by mothers and their children as a result of the increase in diseases due to lack of Vitamin A, and the need for nutrition related interventions in year 2022.
Continuing, he said, according to the “World Bank (2016), every dollar invested in Nutrition intervention, would yield between $4 and $35 in economic returns. For everyone $1 investment in nutrition, $16 is returned to the local Economy. This calls for mainstreaming (for some) and increased mainstreaming of awareness creation on the Biofortified with Vitamin A Crops (Maize, Cassava and Orange Fleshed Sweet Potatoes) into Programming activities for year 2022, considering the huge health and economic importance the crops are currently providing. As development advocates, there is need to position our organizations and work with other partners to serve our people and improve their health, for Health is Wealth”.