The amount of prominence which High Energy Nutritious foods has gained at the ongoing World Economic Forum (WEF), Abuja, has led to the launch of a transformative partnership between several international organizations.
Speaking at the launch, the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, expressed optimism for the participation of organizations like, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Syngenta, Harvest Plus, Dansa Holdings, Harvest Plus and World Food Program (WFP).
Other Organizations include, the Global Alliance for Improving Malnutrition (GAIN), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, U.S Agency for International Development (DFID), and also other major supporters of the nutrition agenda in Africa.
Adesina said the topic of discussion at the launch which was surrounding how to combat the scourge of malnutrition in Africa is indeed of great relevance to him.
Speaking further, he expressed his grief concerning the high level of poor nutrition in most African countries, which he said is traceable to lack of essential minerals and vitamins. According to him, “12 Africans die every minute as a result of hunger and malnutrition, and almost 240 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa do not eat properly to ensure good health and well being”.
Still in grief, based on the fact that Africa has 8 of the 80 percent of the world’s stunted children in 14 countries, Adesina said the African continent is plagued by undernourishment.
“The major reason for malnutrition in Africa is as a result of the poor performance of agriculture, which had been the main source of livelihoods for majority of the poor. All along agriculture has been treated as a development sector, a way to manage but not eliminate poverty”, the Minister added.
He revealed that to fight this trend, the Federal Government has decided to adopt a workable platform where all involved in agriculture and allied businesses would start seeing agriculture as a money-making business venture, with the government providing leadership and the private sector at the driving seat.
Adesina added that to effectively fight the scourge of malnutrition in Africa, there is the need for African Development Bank (AFDB) and other banks to be involved in order to create a financing pool.