Biofortified sorghum and pearl millet were the focus of a recent exhibition at Abuja, Nigeria. Two sorghum varieties – improved Deko and improved Zabuwa – which are rich in iron and zinc, and several micronutrient-rich pearl millet varieties have been developed and distributed in Nigeria in the past year to combat malnutrition in the country. International Crops Research Institute For The Semi-arid TropicsI (CRISAT) also demonstrated food products processed from biofortified sorghum, millet and groundnut.

The exhibition was aimed at informing the general public, key stakeholders and policy makers about the potential of biofortified staple foods. Other crops displayed were groundnut, cassava and sweet potato.

Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, the Honorable Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Nigeria, said, “Malnutrition of trace elements faced by Nigerian children based in the rural communities is going to be a thing of history in few years to come because breeders now breed for crops that are naturally enriched with micronutrients, therefore saving us from consuming chemicals as supplements to the nutrients required for our survival.” He added, “The Ministry is ever ready and willing to collaborate with any institution that is interested in the fight against malnutrition and hunger.”

The exhibition was held at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) headquarters, Abuja on 31 March. Organized by the International Potato Center (CIP), the program was chaired by the Honorable Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri; Dr Olapeju O Phorbee, Country Manager, CIP-Nigeria, as well as directors and senior staff of FMARD.

More on ICRISAT’s work on nutrition.

Project: Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Program-Phase 1 (ATASP-1)
Partners: The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR), International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), AfricaRice
Funder: Government of Nigeria through African Development Bank (AfDB)