Stimulating Egg Demand through Upgraded Household-level Food and Nutrition Knowledge, Kano State Nigeria
Hello forum members,
Eggs are high potential food for improving maternal and child nutrition; that is if you know what it is, what it can do for you in terms of body nutrition and how to go about exploiting the egg potential. We are talking about egg and generally food knowledge and information something that is lacking among vulnerable household women who are mostly responsible for managing maternal and child nutrition at the household level in our part of the world.
One of the feasible options to increase egg demand particularly among grassroots communities in northern Nigeria; Sub Sahara West Africa is to intensify vocational training of household women on food commodities and nutrition. By tradition these category of women are shouldered with responsibility of feeding the family despite the fact that majority of them have little or none food and nutrition knowledge such that is required to make tangible impact. They don’t take good nutritional care of themselves, the babies, school children, adolescents and the aged in the family. There is a situation where head of the household is a poultry farmer producing eggs for sale only and not a bit of the egg is consumed in the household as it is mythically considered luxury that is meant only for the rich. Another sad story is of a rural-based pastoralist community that practice free-range poultry farming producing meat and egg with organic potential but they don’t consume the chickens and eggs, only to sell them while their pregnant women and underage children clearly move around with severe symptoms of chronic malnutrition. Both cases are clear testimony of food and nutrition illiteracy among grassroots communities which could be successfully tackled through learning by training. Training household women on how to differentiate egg recipes and diversify egg utilization especially for maternal and child nutrition holds significant promises for checking diet-related health conditions as well as improve business for upstream actors in the egg value chain.
Stakeholders such as GAIN et al. need to have direct connection with grassroots community effort in problem areas such as Kano state in Nigeria in order to provide constant guide that will align food and nutrition vocational training with national and international nutrition agenda. For example,
Food and Nutrition Vocational Center (FNVC) in Kano metropolitan is non-governmental not-for-profit adult education outfit that mobilizes household women most of them secondary school terminated and married with children now; train them on food entrepreneurship and organize them into food cooperative to promote community nutrition. Please see attached FEED program.
There are challenges but the success indicators are remarkable. Sustainable intensification of the successes is achievable by collaboration with government and agencies such as GAIN, SUN (scaling up nutrition) in areas of food cooperative management, next level nutrition training and community engagement to address maternal and child nutrition problems on wider scale.
Rabiu Auwalu Yakasai
Food and Nutrition Vocational Center (FNVC)
296/3rd Av, FHE Sharada Phase 2
Gwale LGA, Kano State