The high rate of protein deficiency in the country has been described as a national pandemic and a huge drain on its human capital.
The SOY Country Representative of the United States for Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa, Dr Michael David, who revealed this at the Fourth Soy Excellence Center (SEC) Advisory Board meeting in Lagos, lamented the low protein consumption across Nigeria with daily per capita protein, which is below the world standard.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), more than 59 million Nigerians suffer from macronutrient deficiencies and around 45% of deaths of children under five are linked to malnutrition.
Research has found that protein is a basic nutrient necessary for the development, maintenance, and repair of cells in the body. Protein deficiency in Nigeria is not only a major health burden, but also stunted growth, mental disorders (especially in infants), bad mood and bad mood.
To overcome this challenge, according to David, the Nigerian government has the leading role to play, just as the private sector like US SOY will also play a vital role in ensuring that the country overcomes the persistent problem of protein deficiency.
He added that part of what US SOY is doing in Nigeria to help address the issue is the establishment of the Nigeria Soy Excellence Center (SEC), which is a workforce training and capacity building program. capacities to help increase efficiency in the soybean value chain – poultry, aquaculture and human consumption among others.
David added that currently, SEC provides training and capacity building in poultry production, milling, agronomy and aquaculture, noting that the center is training key practitioners who in their in turn, will bring their knowledge to their organizations to improve efficiency and achieve better productivity.
According to him, the efficiency of the value chain will allow farmers to produce more cheaply, stabilize prices and improve access to protein.
He revealed that SEC Nigeria has already trained more than 250 stakeholders in its first year of operation and will double that figure in 2022 with the commissioning of feed factories and aquaculture tracks.
According to him, “Protein deficiency is a national pandemic in Nigeria that requires concerted efforts from all stakeholders. Through the Soy Excellence Center, US SOY is committed to helping Nigeria meet the challenge by building its capacity.