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GAIN Awards N48M Grant to 16 Farmers in 2023 SNIPS

By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja

The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition(GAIN) yesterday awarded the sum of forty-eight million in its 2023,  Strengthening Nutrition In Priority Staples Project (SNIPS).

GAIN informed that the sum of three million nairas (N3m) only was given to 16 agro businesses across 4 states including Kaduna, Benue, Nassarawa, and Oyo states respectively.

Country Director, GAIN Nigeria, Dr. Michael Ojo who revealed this in his remarks during the Micro grant Funding for Nutritious Businesses Award Ceremony in Abuja this morning said ” The 16 businesses recognized had not only demonstrated outstanding dedication to the cause of nutrition but had also passed a rigorous multilayered evaluation to demonstrate their commitment and expertise in furthering the mission”.

The country director said “The micro Grant funding or 3 million naira each (48 million in total) is not just a financial award; it is a testament to the belief we place in these entrepreneurs. It is an investment in the future of food security and nutrition in Nigeria

“With this funding, these businesses are poised to scale up operations, improve food safety standards, and most importantly, increase the availability, accessibility and consumption of nutritious foods across the country.”

Dr Ojo said “The funding of 48 million naira directly contributes to food security by ensuring that more households have access to affordable, nutritious food options, essential for healthy living and sustainable development “

He added that the business support component of the strengthening Nutrition in priority Staples Initiative is part of the team’s revolutionary journey to not just dream of a better future, but to actively build it.

He further informed that over the past two years, they had seen extraordinary changes, farmers transitioning to nutrient-enriched varieties of Cassava, Sweet Potatoes, and Maize and entrepreneurs venturing into the processing of biofortified Vitamin A Cassava, Vitamins A Maize and Orange fleshed sweet potatoes, thereby enriching diets further.

Project Manager, Business Support for GAIN, Mercy Olorunfemi recalled that over 1500 businesses across Nigeria applied for the grant which was meant for only 16 persons from 4 states, but the recipients were properly evaluated by experts before they were selected.

She recalled that in 2023, only 7 businesses had been awarded and their businesses had grown to the point of better packaging and equipment leading to more quality and Nutritious foods.

In his overview of strengthening nutrition in a priority staples project, Senior Project Manager, Supply Chain for Commercialisation, GAIN Nigeria, Ehiabi Enu Godwin  said the objectives of the SNIPS project included increasing consumption of nutritious food by smallholder farmers, strengthening cassava, maize, rice and orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, increase use of nutritious varieties of the target staples in processed foods as well as improve productivity and efficiency of farmers

Meanwhile, the Commissioner, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources,  Benue State, Prof Moses Agbaji who said 9 of the award recipients were from Benue state charged GAIN to introduce African Yam Beans among its priority staples.

The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) is a Swiss-based foundation launched at the United Nations in 2002 to tackle the human suffering caused by malnutrition.

GAIN’s strategy aims to transform food systems to make healthier diets from sustainable food systems accessible to all people especially those most vulnerable to shocks. Adding that by 2027 they aim to improve the access to 1.5 billion people globally to nutritionally enhanced diets.

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