IFAD : LIFE-ND takes nutrition education to schools, gifts bio-fortified crops

.. Coordinator frowns on imbalance diet, hidden hunger

IFAD : LIFE-ND takes nutrition education to schools, gifts bio-fortified crops
Coordinator frowns on imbalance diet, hidden hunger


By Raymond Benson
 To achieve 2019 Nutrition Action Plan, (NAP) of International Fund for Development, (IFAD), Abia State Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises Niger Delta,(LIFE-ND), has intensified its public nutrition mainstreaming awareness in selected rural primary institutions in the state.
Showcasing the project’s commitment,  the Abia State LIFE-ND Nutrition Mainstreaming Specialist, Mr. Goodluck Chibueze, an expert in Food Science and Technology, explained that the exercise was targeted at entrenching the nutrition benefits starting from the young minds.
Mr. Goodluck who on behalf of the project, equally gifted orange-fleshed sweet potato vines, (OFSP), corn, okra and cucumber, all, seed crops of bio-fortified varieties, said that the inputs are directed at enhancing and inculcating nutrition values to children who are easily disposed to diseases.
“We are distributing these to selected government primary schools in the state.
“The essence of this activity is to enhance their nutrition life.
“Most people don’t care about what they eat. This will encourage their nutrition life starting from the schools,” he said.
He expressed disappointment at the ignorance attached to healthy feeding style, which according to the specialist, is the resultant effect of many preventable diseases in the region.
In a practical classroom teaching, he explained the benefits of healthy feeding style to include, improved infant health development, stronger immune system, safer pregnancy and childbirth.
Others include, lower risk of non-communicable diseases such as, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases and increased longitivity, to mention but few.
LIFE-ND State Coordinator, Dr. Uchenna Onyeizu.
He equally advised the children to always spice their foods with vegetables.
He was however particular on the mode of planting the OFSP vine on a ridge.
 He explained that the vines were expected to be given a 2-metre space, letting its two nodes buried inside the soil, leaving a node to air and sunshine for survival and healthy growth.
Speaking on the activity, the Abia LIFE-ND Coordinator, Uchenna Rowland Onyeizu, Ph.D, said that the state had made “tremendous achievements” in creation of awareness.
Dr. Onyeizu who never took lightly the negligence of balanced diet in our feeding style, said such ignorance brings about “hidden hunger” which is the lack of “basic micro nutrients that should be in our food table daily.”
“We are trying to engage the pupils, and the support of school management to teach the young people on nutrition issues, especially balanced diet to fight hidden hunger,” he said.
He commended the project for the mainstreaming awareness, believing that the young ones would assist in moving the crusade forward.
The Headmistress of Community Primary School, Umuchima, Isiala Ngwa North, Mrs. Aguzie Lily,  pledged her commitment to taking the campaign forward.
Mrs. Aguzie said, “I promise, I’ll take care of the garden and do whatever you people ask me to do.”
Other community primary schools that benefited from bio-fortified crops include, Ubakala, Umuahia South, Ahiaba Ubi, Isiala Ngwa North and Umuakahia, Obingwa amongst others.
The project had earlier introduced home garden to equally address the imbalance of diet in the region.