Cross River Governor, Ben Ayade, has harped on the need for food fortification to bring desired value and quality to consumers.
The governor stated this at the National Consolidatory Dialogue on the United Nations Food Summit 2021 in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said for Nigeria to overcome the unpleasant challenge of stunted growth among her citizenry, the objective of the food system should go beyond financing to include nutrient content which entails food fortification.
Ayade said government must deliberately sponsor researches that would help improve food system in Nigeria, like the Chinese did after the second world war, having discovered that her people experienced stunted growth due to poor quality of food.
He explained that food fortification was ‘precision technology aimed at improving quality of food, urging the Federal Government to as a matter of policy, also focus on food fortification while pursuing its food sufficiency agenda.
He said super abundance of food with low nutrient quality would continue to lead to malnutrition and stunted growth as being experienced in the country.
“Again, there is a direct relationship between hunger and anger. When people became hungry, anger sets in. This anger often finds expression in restiveness and all sorts of crimes. So, food sufficiency is critical, but food quality is twice as critical. All tiers of government have the responsibility to ensure that technology is made available to farmers to help improve our food system.”
Ayade who chaired the event on behalf of the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, maintained that the 21st century agriculture was driven by technology with focus on knowledge engineering, arguing that small-holders farming as presently practiced in the country was old-fashioned.