A Non-governmental Organization Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) has launched a new project called Strengthening Nutrition in Priority Staples in Nasarawa state aimed at improving nutrition and agricultural value chain in the state.
Senior project manager supply chains for commercialisation GAIN, Mr. Godwin Enu Ehiabhi disclosed this at the weekend on Friday, during a stakeholder’s roundtable in Lafia the Nasarawa state capital.
He said the project focused on four particular crops in the country including Rice,maize, cassava and fleshed sweet potato, as the main goal of the project was to improve access and consumption of safe nutritious food in the state.
According to him “The project will last for five years and in four states including Benue, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Oyo states with four selected local government areas each, adding that GAIN would only focus on rice value chain in Nasarawa state.
“The project will run for five years period from 2021-2025.This project timeline is divided into phases of implementation as from 9-12 months is project initiation phase, 12-48 months full project implementation phase and 48-60 months finalisation and consolidation phase,” he said.
He disclosed that the Local Government Areas to be implemented in Nasarawa State are Kokona, Lafia Awe and Doma.
Speaking, Project Manager Business Support, Mrs. Mercy Olarunfemi, said they would train selected farmers and households on processing marketing, techniques and sustainability of their farm produced.
She added that there would be support for farmers and SMEs with micro grants for empowerment and organising stakeholders engagement to see how best they could work in selected four local government areas.
Also, GAIN Project Manager Workforce Nutrition, Mirjam Kneepkens, said the project is targeted at 500 MSMES to include processor, aggregators, distributors, wholesales and retailers as well as farmers associations.
Permanent Secretary, state ministry for Agriculture and Rural Development, Nuhu Usman Bunu, who was represented by an officer from the ministry Victoria Ayafa said,
“On behalf of the Ministry we wish to promise that we will give needed support that will enable this project to succeed the door of the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources is wide open for GAIN to come in, we are ready to collaborate support and partner with GAIN and any other organisation or cooperate bodies in Agricultural subsector that will add value to the people of Nasarawa state”.