Foundation Distributes Maize Seedlings, Farm Inputs To Kaduna Farmers
By Asma'u Halilu, Kaduna
The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), a Swiss-based foundation, has distributed vitamin ‘A’ bio-fortified maize seedlings and other farm inputs to no fewer than 400 farmers in Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna state.
The farm inputs include fertiliser, herbicides and pesticides.
The foundation, which was created in 2002 at a Special Session on Children of the UN General Assembly, supports public-private partnerships to increase access to nutrients in diets necessary for people.
At the flag-off of the distribution in Giwa LGA, the Country Director of the foundation, Dr Michael Ojo said the vitamin ‘A’ bio-fortified maize seedlings will reduce malnutrition in the population to ensure a healthy society.
Ojo, represented by the Project Manager, Mr Lachang Faden, explained that the foundation through its bio-fortification component promotes the production and consumption of bio-fortified foods.
He disclosed that the aim of the foundation’s gesture was to ensure that farmers transition from the production and consumption of traditional maize to that of vitamin ‘A’ fortified ones.
He further stated that vitamin ‘A’ mitigates malnutrition which causes mental disability and vulnerability of the body to other diseases which in the long run affects the labour force of the population.
According to Ojo, under the GAIN’s bio-fortification component in Kaduna, they have worked with 4,000 farmers in Lere, Kauru, Giwa and Chikun LGAs respectively, adding that, farmers were provided with farm inputs and training on proximate processing of the vitamin ‘A’ bio-fortified maize, seasonal climate prediction, post-harvest processing, among others.
Also, the Acting Commissioner of Agriculture in Kaduna, Mr Ya’u Kassim said the bio-fortified maize will help the economy of the state and improve the health of the population, especially women and children.
Ya’u, who is the Director of Agricultural Services of the state’s Ministry of Agriculture, added that the fortified maize would show the difference in what the farmers are cultivating.