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Nasarawa to enhance sustainable food production

Nasarawa State Government says it has established a result oriented framework to enhance sustainable production of quality food as part of steps towards tackling malnutrition in the state.

The state Commissioner for Agriculture and Water Resources Mr Nuhu Oshafu stated this during a one day Agribusiness Innovation Clinic in Lafia the Nasarawa State capital.

The Agribusiness Innovation Clinic was organized by a Swiss based foundation, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition to provide a platform for farmers and agro allied stakeholders to develop ways of making nutritional foods more desirable, available and affordable.

The Commissioner for Agriculture and Water Resources represented by a Deputy Director in the ministry, Mr Sadanu Muhammed said the state government would continue to leverage on the Nasarawa State Economic Development Strategy, NEDS document to come up with innovations towards exploring the vast potentials in the agricultural sector.

Project Manager Business Support, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, Ms Mercy Olorunfemi stated that 640 beneficiaries comprising rural women and youths have been selected across five local government areas of Nasarawa State to commence a five year pilot project for strengthening nutrition in priority staple foods especially rice, maize,cassava and orange to be funded by the government of Germany.

National President Association of Small Scale Agro Producers of Nigeria, Mr Joshua Jonathan called on Government at all levels to prioritize funding for agriculture and create more opportunities in terms of innovations to enhance production of quality food.

Some of the participants in the programme, Nasarawa State Chairman of National Rice Producers, Millers and Marketers Association, Mr Abel Jilemsam and the state Chairman Cassava Growers Association, Alhaji Muhammed Ari Akashe said the clinic had given them new insight into promoting value chain for crops to enhance nutrition and marketability.

Representatives of financial institutions including Bank of Agriculture were engaged in panel discussions as well as question and answer sessions during the event.

Reporting by Chris Nyamtu, Editing by Omotola Oguneye