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Monday, October 19, 2020

WFD 2020: CS-SUNN urges Nigerians to choose nutritious foods - NaijaAgroNet: ... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology


The Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition Network (CS- SUNN) has urged Nigerians to ensure they choose their foods with nutrition in mind, so as to maintain a healthy living, reports 
The Executive Secretary, CS- SUNN, Mrs. Beatrice Eluaka gave this charge on the occasion of the World Food Day (WFD2020) in Abuja on Friday.

She counselled Nigerians to choose to eat diverse and healthy diets in order to promote healthy living.

Also, she beckoned on the private sector to respect national food safety regulations and measures to protect food and reinforce good hygienic and food safety practices along the food chains, mostly in the rural communities.

“We're calling on the private sector to support and promote small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) to stay in business. Private sector should continue to invest in sustainable resilient food systems and ensure favourable working conditions that will promote the practice of exclusive breastfeeding,” Mrs. Eluaka said.

CS-SUNN equally called for the establishment of creches in work places and adoption of six months maternity leave to enable nursing mothers extensively breastfeed their infants.

Exclusive Breast-Feeding (EBF) precisely for infants in the first six months, she noted, cannot be over-emphasised, stressing that it remains the best start that will provide infants with adequate nutrients and protect them against childhood killer diseases.

In recent times, she noted that some significant progress has been made in improving agricultural productivity and ensuring nutrition security, but there are still some imbalance with food systems.

“Malnutrition, hunger, obesity, environmental degradation, loss of agro-biological diversity, food loss and waste as well as a lack of security for food chain workers are some of the issues that underlines the imbalance,” Eluaka said.

Recalling that “Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said over 2 billion people do not have regular access to nutritious, safe, and sufficient food. The organization added that the impact of malnutrition in all its forms – undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, as well as overweight and obesity – on the global economy is estimated at USD 3.5 trillion per year.”

In a related development, she said that the COVID-19 pandemic has made the year 2020 to be a challenging one, because it largely undermined efforts towards attaining food and nutrition security for all Nigerians.

” It deepened the challenge of accessibility to safe and nutritious foods, and saw malnutrition rates soaring in some states particularly among children.”

Eluaka pointed out that the development and implementation of Nigeria’s COVID-19 recovery plans, provides an array of opportunity to adopt innovative solutions to build back better and improve food systems, making them more resilient to emergencies.

Further, CS- SUNN noted that government at all levels, the consumer, farmers, Organised Private Sector (OPS), Civil Society Organisaitons (CSOs) among others all have a role to play in helping all populations, especially the most vulnerable, recover from the crisis, and to make food and nutrition systems more resilient and robust so they can withstand increasing volatility and climate changes.

NaijaAgroNet recollects that World Food Day is annually marked on the 16th of October by over 150 countries including Nigeria. This commemoration promotes world-wide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and the need to ensure food and nutrition security for all.

This year’s World Food Day was "To Grow, Nourish, Sustain, Together."

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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