The United State Agency for International Development (USAID), has engaged stakeholders in municipal roundtable to design safety measure for markets for nutritious food in Kebbi State.
The stakeholders who were drawn from state government agencies, regulatory agencies, federal agencies, development partners, NGOs, professional bodies, association, farmers, market associations ,market managers, women groups, CSOs and food processors, participated in the round table discussion.
Addressing the participants at the municipal roundtable in Birnin Kebbi, the Head, EatSafe Country Programmes, Dr. Augustine Okoruwa, explained that the roundtable discussion was sequel to the national and state launch of the EatSafe: evidence and action towards safe, nutritious food project in Abuja which held on Dec. 3, 2020 and in Birnin Kebbi on Feb. 24, 2021 respectively.
According to him, the project had several stakeholders engagement in the state, including but not limited to advocacy visits to heads of government agencies, citizen engagement interviews, among others.
“In our bid to carry all stakeholders along and in fulfilment of our co-creation drive, the EatSafe Nigeria held a national stakeholders’ meeting on 21st and 22nd April, 2021 to brief the stakeholders on the progress made so far on the projects and explore areas and opportunities for collaboration in ensuring and promoting consumption of safe nutritious food for all Nigerian.
“This is what we are doing in Kebbi state now and the meetings would also provide an opportunity for stakeholders to review and evaluate some proposed food safety indicators for Kebbi in particular and Nigeria in general,” he said.
The EatSafe project , he explained are funded by the US government, through USAID, in accordance with its Global Food Security Strategy (GFSS) for Nigeria and it is currently being implemented in Kebbi state.
He noted that, the objective of the EatSafe was to support Nigeria in improving food safety, security, nutrition, and resilience, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“EatSafe will support Nigeria in improving food safety, security, nutrition, and resilience, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Ensuring safe and nutritious food for all is one of the most imperative public health and social challenges of our time, hence EatSafe seeks to explore innovative ways to engage stakeholders, including the public and private sector, to improve food safety and nutrition security in Kebbi state.”
He explained that the project ran for five years, and was expected to increase and consolidate knowledge and evidence of food safety risk in informal markets in Nigeria, with a focus on the Kebbi state.
“The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) is leading the implementation of this project with partners including the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), a research center with expertise in food safety, and Pierce Mill Entertainment and Education, (a non-profit that specializes in social impact media for positive behaviour change) to generate evidence related to consumer-based demand interventions in order to shape informal markets to provide more safe food,” Okoruwa said.