In a bid to improve food security nationwide, HarvestPlus in partnership with the federal government has embarked on an extensive program encompassing both state and federal levels to promote the adoption of biofortified crops.
Dr. Yusuf Dollar, country manager of HavestPlus, made the announcement at a consultative policy workshop focused on climate-smart agriculture and biofortification.
This event was conducted in partnership with both the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and the International Food Policy Research Institute.
Dollar stressed that the consultative meeting had the sole aim of deepening understanding of biofortification at the state level, such that policymakers can make informed policy that would improve the uptake of the biofortified crops.
According to him, “There is a need to bring together the new commissioner and permanent secretaries at the state level for them to learn so that when they get to their states they can implement the strategies as well as create an enabling environment for the crops.
“When advancing value chains, establishing strong partnerships with state governments is essential. It has been noticed that governors frequently lack awareness of these initiatives due to inadequate information provided by their technocrats.”
While addressing the primary focus of the company on staple crops such as maize, millet, cassava, potato, and rice, he emphasized that rural farmers have the opportunity to access, cultivate, and consume these crops. This, in turn, allows them to benefit from the vital micronutrients and vitamins crucial for enhancing nutritional security in the country.
Dr. Dollar stated that this technology can be easily disseminated among the vulnerable communities. Rural populations typically do not consume packaged foods, but with access to biofortified seeds, they can grow and consume crops that alleviate micronutrient deficiencies.
Remarking, Reva Misra, Head of National Policy at HarvestPlus in Washington, DC, clarified that the workshop’s core objective is to facilitate essential policy reforms. These reforms aim at expanding accessibility to climate-smart agriculture and biofortified resources, ultimately granting farmers access to nutrition and enhancing their resilience to climate change.