Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu has said the Eatsafe Programme was key to stemming the tide of various illnesses in Kebbi State ànd beyond.
Bagudu spoke on Wednesday,in Birnin Kebbi,at the Launch of the EatSafe : Evidence and Action Towards safe, Nutritius Food State Programme.
He said:” This all-important programme will reduce various health challenges and we are ready to have robust partnerhsip in this direction.”
The Kebbi State Governor also said eventually, eating good and nutritious food would drastically reduce hospital visits and the attendants reduction in the number of people falling sick.
This, the Governor noted, was because , people who always live in hyeginic environment, eat healthy foods , will be minimally afflicted by ailments, especially contagious and food related ones.
Bagudu further said,” the ability of the people to produce and sell healthy foods, will add value to it and also bolster patronage.
” Doing otherwise will only reduce it’s value and attract less patronage, while it causes more health palavers .”
The governor expressed readiness of his administration to partner with the programme and many others , in order to guarantee the safety and health of the people of the state.
” So, we will collectively brainstorm and come up with unique plausible solutions , replicate the programme and other well established global best practices,” Bagudu, promised.
He thanked Feed the Future for coming up with the program noting that, it will add to Kebbi’s food value chain as well as carry along and mobilise stakeholders to work hard as a team to achieve the objective of safety and nutritious food to people of the state.
Dr. Augustine Okoroba the Head of EatSafe Country Program said earlier in his welcome address that the EatSafe : Evidence and Action Towards safe, Nutritious food program was the first to be introduced in Nigeria with Kebbi State being the first state for the launch of the program.
According to him ensuring safe and nutritious food for all is one of the most imperative public health and social challenges of our time, hence EatSafe seeks to explore innovative ways to engage stakeholders, including the public and private sector, to improve food safety and nutrition security in Kebbi state.
‘ The activity launch in Kebbi State seeks to increase stakeholders’ understanding of the EatSafe project and its role in improving the safety of nutritious foods in informal markets, knowledge on the implications of food safety issues in the State and to get the buy-in for the implementation of the EatSafe project from the state government and other stakeholders in the state ‘, he averred.
The project he added would bring about lasting improvement in safety of food in Kebbi State, empower consumers to demand for safe and nutritious foods and ensuring better nutrition for all.
Other benefits of the project which is in accordance with the United States Global Food Security Strategy (GFSS) for Nigeria’s objective of a well-nourished population, especially among women and children; EatSafe will help foster a healthier population in Nigeria and help guarantee safe and nutritious foods for their families, he said.
Mr. Okoroba finally called for funding of food safety by Governments to promote healthy living for all.
The Commissioners of Health and Budget and Economic Planning, Jafar Muhammad and Dr. Abba Sani Kalgo welcomed the introduction of the program to Kebbi State.
They extolled governor Bagudu and said that his presence at the program was an indication of his commitment towards achieving food security for the state and Nigeria in general.
Following the national launch in Abuja on the 3rd of December 2020, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) launched a new Consumer Food Safety Evidence and Learning Platform, known as EatSafe: Evidence and Action Toward Safe, Nutritious Food on February 24, 2021 in Kebbi State. EatSafe will support Nigeria in improving food safety, security, nutrition, and resilience, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program was attended by Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries, Chairman of Birnin Kebbi Central Market and Market Women Associations among other stakeholders.