A manager in Harvestplus "Paul Ilona" has called on the youths to explore opportunities in bio-fortified crops. He also emphasized that if youths buy into the school-feeding programme, they would become pioneers because a new market would be open to them.
Businessday reports; The Country Manager of Harvestplus, an international NGO, Paul Ilona, has called on youths to explore opportunities in bio-fortified crops in order to leverage the Federal Government’s home-grown school feeding programme his advice was contained in a statement issued by the organization’s Communication Officer, Ikechukwu Onyewuchi, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan. It stated that Ilona made the call in Akwa-Ibom at the pro-vitamin. A cassava pastry-training programme for women, sponsored by DFID, Market Development for Niger Delta (MADE) and Harvestplus. According to the statement, Bio-fortified crops such as vitamin A cassava and vitamin A maize have been integrated into the programme to produce highly nutritious staples. The statement said it was quite unfortunate that the average child mortality in Nigeria was 2, 300 every day while 145 women die at childbirth. It added that every child and pregnant woman had the right to live. “Without training, one will follow the bandwagon of failures, DFID, MADE do not want that, hence, the investment in this training. “Youths must be innovative and work hard to be successful,’’ the statement said. The statement emphasized that if youths buy into the school-feeding programme, they would become pioneers because a new market would be open to them. It stated that another advantage that would be got from these type of products were those that had been classified as low-glycemic index foods. “It means unlike biscuits, those who have diabetes can take these products; the research on this has been completed and the studies published,’’ he said. It stated that youths in Oyo State had invested in confectionaries and on the average makes a net return of N15 per sachet. The model, it added, ensures business and economic viability. “As you are learning how to produce, you should also learn how to scale. “At DFID-MADE and HarvestPlus, we are committed to creating a platform to ensure that you grow,’’ the statement said.