In a bid to boost Vitamin- A deficiency in food nutrition among Nigerians, SANO Foods and International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) have ratified the adoption of bio-fortified foods, including, potato, cassava and maize, as well as their by-products as costeffective, widely-accepted and locally available means in Nigeria’s agric sector.
In particular, the partnership between the two organisations also canvasses for the use of Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato (OSFP) puree and flour in bread making and other confectionaries as a way to save foreign exchange (FX) for the country by reducing the importation and consumption of imported wheat.
In addition, the agric partnership also looked at the ways to stimulate production, processing, productivity and prosperity of farmers through crop industrialisation. The initiative, which was a collaboration with SANO Foods Limited, an Abeokuta- based agricultural value chain player, was attended by critical stakeholders in the food and agro-allied sector. Several value chain products from the selected bio-fortified crops were on display, including turmeric garri (garri mixed with turmeric), OFSP garri (garri with orange-fleshed sweet potato), OFSP bread varieties, lemongrass juice, varieties of tea and several other products. Speaking at the event, Acting General Manager of SANO Foods, Solomon Ojeleye, explained that the vision of the company was to ensure that Nigerians have easy access to organic, healthy and nutritional products to reverse widespread malnutrition as inflation bites harder and conventional vitaminfortified foods become too expensive for most Nigerians.
Ojeleye said: “SANO Foods has invested so much in research and development to get the new products available and affordable. Bakers nationwide can now use the OFSP puree and flour as substitute for wheat flour to ensure consumers have access to healthy bread.” At the programme, IITA under the Basic II programme, presented the new improved varieties of cassava species that will give farmers higher yield and also more nutritional value for consumers. Delivering the keynote address, Deputy Director General, Partnerships for Delivery, IITA, Kenton Dashiell, emphasised the importance of cassava to Nigeria economy and why farmers need to embrace the new varieties.
Present at the events are Michael Abberton (Director, West Africa Hub IITA), Alfred Dixon (Director, Development & Delivery IITA), Prof. Lateef Sanni (Project Manager, BASICS II. IITA) Mr. Paul Ilona (Managing Director Harvest Plus), Mr. Sola Olunowo (Managing Director Agro Park).