An NGO, Global Alliances for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), says 1,760 households will benefit from its home gardening inputs to improve nutrition indices in four LGAs in Kaduna State.
The LGAs are Chikun, Giwa, Lere and Kauru, where 440 beneficiary households in each LGA will be given vegetable seeds (Amaranthus and tomato seeds), orange-fleshed sweet potato vines, organic fertilizers, and watering cans.
Inaugurating the distribution for the Home Gardens Initiative at Kujama, Chikun LGA in Kaduna, the representative of GAIN, Mr Francis Aderibigbe, said the initiative was launched as a crucial part of the Workforce Nutrition Component within the Strengthening Nutrition in Priority Staples Project (SNiPS).
Aderibigbe, who is the Project Coordinator of Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), an implementing partner of the GAIN’s Home Gardens Initiative, said the exercise was designed to provide support to farming households, farmers, farmworkers and processors in the rice and maize value chains.
He explained that the Workforce Nutrition Component focused on increasing the consumption of safe, nutritious foods by smallholder farmers, their families, and the wider population.
He also said the Workforce Nutrition Component promoted consumption of nutrient-enriched staples, fruits, and vegetables for improved dietary intake, especially among farmers, farmworkers, and their households.
Aderibigbe, therefore, noted that Home Gardens Initiative was centred on training households in the establishment and maintenance of home gardens.
He added that it was also to improve access to quality planting materials for the home gardens, and improving knowledge and technologies on good agronomic practices for home gardens.
“The initiative also seeks to improve nutrition education of households on the need to consume nutritious foods grown in their home gardens,” he said.
The DDI project coordinator, therefore, said that the GAIN SNiPS Home Garden Initiative aligned with the broader mission of tackling malnutrition in Nigeria by improving the access to safe and nutritious foods.
Specifically for DDI, Aderibigbe said they were championing the Home Garden Initiative.
He noted that the SNiPS project was designed to provide support to 5,000 farming households, farmers, farmworkers and processors in the rice and maize value chains in Benue, Kaduna and Nasarawa states.
He said DDI had before the flag-off, concluded the training of 1760 beneficiaries on good agronomic practices.
He restated GAIN’s commitment to making a lasting positive impact on the health and well-being of communities in the state.
Earlier, the Kaduna State Commissioner for Agriculture, Malam Murtala Dabo, said the initiative was in tandem with the state Government’s commitment in ensuring healthy wellbeing of the citizens.
Dabo, represented by Mrs Dinah Sambo, the Head of Women in Agriculture in the ministry, said that when one knew what to consume and the right agricultural practices, it would help in knowing the nutrition value of what is eaten.
He, therefore, urged the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the inputs, adding that in the long run, it would improve their healthy being and their families.
He also lauded the initiative, while urging GAIN to extend the gesture to other LGAs in the state.
On behalf of the beneficiaries, the Village Head of Kujama, Mr Anthony Samaila, thanked GAIN for the gesture.
He assured them that the beneficiaries would make judicious use of the inputs, adding that it would ease the households on their expenses in purchasing the farm inputs.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that GAIN is a Swiss-based foundation launched in 2002 to address the human suffering caused by malnutrition.
GAIN’s mission is to advance nutrition outcomes by improving the consumption of nutritious and safe food for all people, especially those most in need.