By Sodiq Lawal
An agro firm, HarvestPlus, has launched the first national recipe book on nutrient-enriched foods entitled: “Biofortified crops on my plate”. FarmingFarmersFarms reports that the book offers over 50 recipes using vitamin A cassava, vitamin A maize, and vitamin A orange sweet potatoes as the main ingredients. The recipes have been developed to meet daily nutrition needs of family members and to provide a diverse menu using biofortified crops by aiming to improve nutrient intake and reducing malnutrition.
The book, which was developed by HarvestPlus in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Federal Ministry of Health, and its development partners, features a collection of practical and traditional dishes that have been adapted to provide added nutrition and fight malnutrition through biofortified foods. Speaking at the ceremony, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammed Abubakar, said this book would guide cooks under the National Homegrown School Feeding Programme of the Federal Government. He added that “This recipe book will, no doubt, serve as an instructional tool for intending and existing food manufacturers, caterers, food distributors, extension agents, and other relevant stakeholders in the food industry”.
Abubakar, who was represented by the Director of Tree Crop, Ukatha Bernard, said the book will also serve as a pedestal for job and wealth creation for our teeming youths. “It is my belief that this book will be used alongside other nutrition education resource books authorised by FMARD and other development partners to train farm families on different recipe combinations and health benefits of good eating. Beneficiary children, within the range of this intervention, will have more access to biofortified foods being given to them under this programme”, he stated, while commending HarvestPlus and other development partners in their commercialisation efforts in addressing the micronutrient needs of Nigerians, most importantly, the vulnerable households. The Country Manager, HarvestPlus Nigeria, Dr. Yusuf Dollah said biofortification is a system and approach to complement existing nutrition initiatives using distinctive crops.
“Our strategy has been the value chain approach and this recipes book is a way to address some of the constraints we have along the chains or links of the value chain, increasing use of the crops by looking at household utilisation and industrial purposes. Each recipe you find in this book represents an enterprise so that anybody that goes into the food business can have access to this recipes book. Is a free book, as from today, you can start downloading from the Internet for free and for your use”, he said. The Chief Nutritionist, HarvestPlus, Erick Boy, stated that the recipe book is a testament to the power of food to nourish and heal. He expressed optimism that the book would inspire people to incorporate nutritious biofortified crops into their diets and improve their health and well being. Meanwhile, the book features a collection of practical and traditional dishes that have been cleverly adapted to provide added nutrition and fight malnutrition through biofortified foods.