GAIN trains farmers, food processors, traders on food safety, hygiene

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In its bid to ensure food and nutrition security, a non-governmental organisation, The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, GAIN has held a 4-day training for farmers, food processors and traders across four local governments in Oyo state on food safety and hygiene.

The training was aimed at developing the technical skills of food processors in basic, advanced food safety to promote the availability of safe nutrient-enriched staples in the states of intervention.

The project tagged “Strengthening Nutrition in Priority Staples “ is implemented by GAIN in collaboration with GIZ and the Green Innovation Center for the Agricultural and Food Sector in Nigeria, GIC with support from the German government through the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The training which was held at Golden Tulip Hotel, Ibadan is meant to meet regulatory standards through training of food processors in value chains of Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato and Vitamin A Cassava, across 4 selected Local Government Areas in Oyo state including, Afijio, Iseyin, Oyo West and Ido.

While speaking with journalists, the senior Programme Assistant – Evidence and Action Towards Safe Nutritious Foods Programme, (Eatsafe) GAIN Nigeria, Mr Martin Musa noted that GAIN organised the workshop for farmers and small-scale food processors with the aim of improving their capacity in the area of their portfolio by introducing them to biofortified staples.

He noted that the project includes the introduction of small-scale processing of orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, cassava, and Vitamin A maize.

Musa added that to expand the participants’ scope, the project has also demonstrated how to create other products such as bread, span cakes, and chin chin.

He further explained that the project aims to introduce participants to highly nutritious foods to ensure healthier diets in their homes and to help them penetrate the local market.

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He said “We profiled fifty businesses, producers, traders and processors for the project with the hope that participants will step down the training to their family and community members.

“The impacts of this particular engagement is aimed at ensuring the training get to the bottom of the primary stakeholders who lack the understanding of what they can do with these staples as well as the agricultural products produced in their community.

Speaking, facilitator at the workshop and Managing Director/Lead Consultant, Nugata Consults Limited, Mrs Jane Omojokun, stated that the significance of the workshop is aimed at training small scale producers on the production and packaging of safe food for consumption.

She further noted that the training is also meant to teach the participants on how to imbibe the right practices to ensure the safety of food.

Omojokun however advised the government to make provision for infrastructural facilities such as pipe-borne water and good roads to make things easier for small scale producers.

In a brief chat with journalists, Consultant, Nugata Consults Limited, Chimere Nzeoma, explained that food safety is important in order to prevent food poisoning.

While he advised participants to put into practice, lessons learnt during the training Into practice to create safe foods for human consumption.

Also speaking, one of the participants Rasheed Lawal, a Cassava trader from Oyo West Local Government, lauded the facilitators of the workshop adding that he had learnt more about nutrition and food safety tips, packaging and branding.

Lawal further stated that the training given on technical skills of food processing will help his business.