National Food Fair: Aisha Buhari calls for Commercialization of Nation’s Indigenous Foods For Export Purposes.

 Mrs Karima Babangida, Mrs Mary Ekpere-Eta; Hajjo Sanni; and Dr Labara Shoda at the high table.

The Wife of Nigeria President; Aisha Buhari made the remark during the opening ceremony of the 1st National Food Fair in Abuja organised by the National Council of Women’s Societies (NCWS) in collaboration with the Travel Marketing Partners held in Abuja today.

Hajjo Sanni representing Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari inspecting agricultural exhibition stand.

She said that the Nigeria is so endowed with food varieties, that is time to start harnessing it’s maximum export potentials by commercialing them.

According to her, the commercialization of some of the Nigeria’s foods would creates more jobs along the value chain for women and the youth.

She went further to add, that working towards achieving SDG’s goals agenda in creating food security and eradicating poverty, Nigerians need to start appreciating and promoting Nigeria indigenous foods.

Earlier, The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, (represented by Mrs Karima Babangida, Director, Agricultural Extension Services in the Ministry), said marking the World Food Day with a Food Fair was very apt that it reflects the present administration’s commitment to the unity of the country and diversification of the economy through agriculture.

He went further to emphasis that the food fair would help to address the critical issues of women in agriculture, that out of 95 per cent of Small Holder Farmers in Nigeria who actually feed the nation, 70 per cent of them are women.

Mr Shola Ilupeju, Chief Executive Officer, Travel Marketing ltd

“These women account for 70 per cent of agricultural labour force, in spite of the challenges of having access to only 20 per cent of productive resources.

“Women are highly involved in food foraging in the forest, collecting products such as snails, mushrooms, vegetables and spices for native cuisines.

“This administration fully appreciates and recognises the critical position of women as wives, mothers, home builders, labour force enablers that sustain their homes all year round through their food,’’ he said.

Ogbeh added that, in recognition of the significant role women played both in nutrition and income generation to improve livelihood in the family, the ministry had mainstreamed gender and nutrition into agricultural policies, that the National Food Fair was geared to encourage Nigerians to `eat what we grow and grow what we eat’.

In his closing note, he urged participants at the fair to spread the news of cherishing our indigenous food culture and ensure its preservation for the unborn generation.

Speaking also at the event, The National President, NCWS, Mrs Gloria Shoda, stated that the National Food Fair 2018 was designed to ensure sustainable food security as Nigerians would learn to grow what they eat and eat what they grow, that the event was a platform for the public and private stakeholders, producers and consumers to come together to showcase their products.

She says, “This will foster opportunity to deliberate, network and proffer viable and implementable strategies for zero hunger and for the wellbeing of Nigerians,’’ she said.

Speaking to the press in a side chat interview, Mr Shola Ilupeju, Chief Executive Officer, Travel Marketing Ltd, siezed the opportunity to call on Nigeria government to refocus investment lights on Nigeria culture and tourism awaiting potentials, as they have great revenue generation potentials.

According to him, by promoting our food culture and tourism potentials, the needed jobs would be created along the way, for not only youths and women in the country but for everyone.

Pamela James reporting.

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