Oyo state partners GAIN to boost food security, nutrition

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In its bid to boost food security and enhance access to safe and nutritious foods in the state, the Oyo State Government has entered into partnership with a Swiss-based foundation, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, GAIN.

Head, Policy Advocacy and Communications of GAIN, Joyce Akpata, who disclosed this in Ibadan on Monday, said malnutrition in all its forms imposes unacceptable direct and indirect high costs on the nation.

“It stretches the already thin economy and has important economic consequences at the individual, household and community level.

“The prevalence of malnutrition in Nigeria goes beyond the ability to purchase food. It is ingrained in those structural, cultural and physiological predispositions that hinder Nigerians from considering nutrition as a priority in the light of other challenges.

“With the increasing level of multidimensional poverty in Nigeria, it is expected that malnutrition at all levels will also rise,” he said.

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Country Director of GAIN Nigeria, Dr Michael Ojo said the organisation was committed to working with the state governments in championing collective action in the fight against malnutrition.

Ojo said this would be done through the strengthening of food systems to enhance production and access to safe and nutritious food in a sustainable way.

He said that some of the interventions currently being implemented by GAIN in Oyo State were the Strengthening Nutrition in Priority Staples Project, SNIPS, and Commercialisation of Biofortified Crops Project, CBC.

The interventions, he noted, aim to significantly improve productivity and efficiency of farmers and businesses to improve the production of nutrient dense varieties, especially in the cassava, maize and orange flesh sweet potatoes value chains.

The state Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Prof. Musbau Babatunde, at the MOU signing ceremony in Ibadan, reiterated the significance of this kind of partnership in building more partnership in the future.

“This has affirmed the commitment of the government of Oyo State to providing an enabling environment for the enhanced nutrition outcomes for the indigenes and residents of Oyo State,” Babatunde said.