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Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Revealed: Two factors central to successful fortified rice in Nigeria - NaijaAgroNet

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Two factors have been revealed as central to the successful introduction of fortified rice in Nigeria, reports NaijaAgroNet.
Revealed: Two factors central to successful fortified rice in Nigeria - NaijaAgroNet
This revelation was based on latest study tagged “Towards the adoption of rice fortification in Nigeria: Landscape Analysis Report” made available to NaijaAgroNet by the the World Food Programme and Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) Nigeria.

According to the studies, the outcome of the findings of the analysis across the main elements highlighted two important factors, namely the 'navigating demand/supply apathy' and 'Navigating supply chain pitfalls.'

The study in an executive summary informed NaijaAgroNet that with 'Navigating demand/supply apathy' there is currently no evidence of latent demand for fortified rice across households in Nigeria, a situation made worse by the significant inflationary pressures on rice pricing in the last 5 years.

"The advocacy process should therefore be primed to overcome a degree of consumer inertia, especially if introduced at a price premium," they said.

In addition, the study lamented that operators in rice milling and processing currently have limited incentives to actively support the process and as a result, may have low levels of effective interest.

"Policy design for rice fortification should therefore be focused on navigating this situation," they said.

As for 'Navigating supply chain pitfalls' the study noted that staple food fortification in Nigeria is already hampered by supply chain inefficiencies, such as fortificant tariffs, significant delays at Nigeria’s ports for importation of fortification relevant equipment and consumables and porous borders that uneven the playing field at the expense of fortification compliant companies.

This, the report pointed out, will be no different for rice.

"Given that the rice sector is still quite fragmented, effort will need to be directed at navigating supply chain challenges associated with rice fortification," the report noted.

Emphasising that policy interventions and operational strategies will therefore be critical to overcoming the challenge posed by inefficiencies in Nigeria’s food product supply chain infrastructure.

Remmy Nweke/DoP

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