The Minister of Budget and Economic planning, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, has called on the organization for Technology Advancement of Cold Chain in West Africa to collaborate with the Budget Ministry to generate laudable economic activities to tackle nutrition deficiency.

The Minister made this call today when members of the organization led by the Country Director, Ms. Adesuwa Akinboro paid him a courtesy visit, in Abuja.

Senator Bagudu commended the organisation’s support towards the country by interfacing with the Nigeria Governor’s Forum (NGF) Secretariat in facilitating projects without diluting the individual identity of individual organizations.

He applauded the TechnoServe team for the visit and expressed hope that the visit would mark the beginning of a valuable partnership, providing an opportunity for TechnoServe to learn from the Ministry experiences, particularly, within the food systems transformation pathway, which was being coordinated by the ministry.

He said that TechnoServe’s expertise in entrepreneurship development, food processing and high margin agriculture, would be key to enabling both parties to collaborate in areas of identified gaps and lifting people out of poverty.

Bagudu appreciated TechnoServe’s Country Director for inviting him to attend the 3rd MFI annual awards and the Millers for Nutrition country which would be launched in March 2024.

The annual awards ceremony, co-convened by TechnoServe (through the Millers for Nutrition Initiative–M4N), recognizes companies committed to ensuring access to high-quality fortified foods, such as wheat flour, edible oil, rice and sugar.

In her brief earlier, the Country Director, Technoserve, Adesuwa Akinboro, said that the organization was an International nonprofit organization that promotes business solutions to poverty in the developing world, like Nigeria.

She said that their goal was about improving the incomes and livelihoods of hardworking men and women in underserved areas across various value chains, helping them to build strong farms and businesses and providing business solutions to poverty.

Akinboro pointed out that in Nigeria, the organization had worked in 10 states and they are in the process of opening up operations in two additional states: Kano and Anambra in the current year adding that they are delighted to partner with Nigeria.

She also stated that the organization was planning to train 37,000 young adults in Kano and Lagos in driving entrepreneurship.

Also speaking, the Global Program Director, Riz Yusufali, highlighted the food fortification efforts through the Inspiring Good Nutrition Initiative and Enterprise (IGNITE) program, under the aegis of the Millers for Nutrition coalition, currently active in 8 countries (including Nigeria) with a focus on reaching more people with fortified foods by putting millers of staple foods, such as rice, wheat flour and edible oil at the center of economic development.

Mary Henshaw
For: Director (Information)