HarvestPlus, an international agricultural organization has announced plans to reach 1.2 million households in Nigeria with vitamin A rich cassava and maize in 2018.
This plan was made known by the organization country manager, Dr. Paul Ilona in an interview granted to newsmen recently.
Ilona said the HarvestPlus is set to deliver about 3 million bundles of Vitamin A cassava and Vitamin A maize adding that it also plans to secure 50,000 hectares of land for cultivation of bio-fortified seeds.
He said, “This delivery target is in addition to the awareness and demand creation, platforms, partnerships, policies and linkages that HarvestPlus Nigeria needs to push to support investors and actors in the bio-fortification value chain”.
Ilona, however, expressed dissatisfaction over the inability of farmers and investors in the sector to grow production and investment scale.
“Specifically, the plan is to link them to the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL).
“NIRSAL is a CBN endorsed initiative that basically guarantees loans, guides and provides certified inputs for viable agricultural related businesses.
“The NIRSAL management is already very happy to work with us, so work is now underway to develop a formal agreement to kick-start the partnership,” he said.
The country manager urged the government to create an enabling environment for investors and farmers as well as address nutrition needs in the country.