Culinary Lesson for Women – CL4W
Little effort by FNVC with significant promise to control food waste and make more food go round in the household
Lack of functional knowledge and skills on food and nutrition among housewives is responsible for their careless attitude to hygiene in food handling; excessive food loss and waste especially during kitchen preparation, and their inability to prepare and serve balanced nutrition meal to household members despite abundant food items around. All family members are affected but critically affected are new born and weaning babies, school-age children, pregnant and lactating women, the sick and elderly. This is the prevalent situation in most sub-Sahara countries that pose great concern towards achieving the SDG2 by the year 2030 (only 11 years a head). For some countries, communities and even families, culinary knowledge and skill is paramount priority now to contain hunger and malnutrition challenges within tolerable SDG2 levels where the remaining years to achieving the desired goal appears just impossible. In a community that is bedeviled with poverty, corruption and poorly enlightened yet naturally with vast food resources, vocational culinary lesson becomes most feasible option particularly for core actors (women) in the household food value chain to empower them for efficient and effective handling of food and nutrition issues in the family. It is on this premise that Food and Nutrition Vocational Center (FNVC) which is an adult education NGO provides short intensive weekend vocational training on food and nutrition for housewives in a densely local government area of Kano metropolitan in northern Nigeria. Three hours per day in borrowed classroom from local primary school within the housewives’ close surrounding area. Training focused on food hygiene and safety; household food loss and waste control, recipe innovation and homebound food business management. It is free training that lasts ten weekends and turned out 20-30 housewives every quarter (three months). An immediate opportunity that availed to the trained women is school meal business, preparing high quality safe and affordable meal to primary school pupils during morning break period. Been highly concerned caregivers to school-age children the trained women were quick to relate acquired knowledge with emerging opportunity in the ongoing official school feeding program and they are making tangible impact.
Rabiu Auwalu Yakasai
It is clear evidence during the period of ramadan fasting in Kano eggs become scarce commodity with inflated market price simply because of the flash rise of demand of the egg commodity at the on set of the fasting. In fasting period there is need of tasty, highly nutrtious food ingredient that combines easily with several other ingredients to prepare variety breakfast (Iftar) meals. Egg is one of them.
In another example, one of the states in Nigeria was informed of the benefits of egg particularly to school children, the head of government decreed every school child in the state must be served school meal that contained an egg. That contributed to increased egg demand which drive proliferation of egg production farms to meet the demand. Nutritional literacy is a good precursor of increased egg consumption, at least in this part of the world.
I am with Cedric point of view. Please don't drag innocent contributors to the forum into eggpolitics to make global winning views perhaps for a cornered business proposition elsewhere? I hope we are not ignorantly making good case for egg powder invasion of developing countries to the detriment of their natural egg potentials.
Rabiu Auwalu Yakasai
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
Hello once again members,
It is true and based on scientifc evidences that climate change has great deal of impact accelerating poverty-driven agriculture. Climate change has different effect and impact on different regions of the world. In northern Nigeria for example, may be only the learned know about the practical effects of climate change on local agriculture that leads to extreme poverty. But critical xray of the trend will highlight lack of practical knowledge and skill for managing associated agriculture-related extreme poverty. Two simultaneaous approaches are very vital with each depending on point of application and economic status of recipients:
a) Organized rural-urban farm produce marketing. This approach holds significant promises to reduce extreme poverty suffered by farm producers that have production resources yet suffer business shortcircuit. To those actors lacking production resources but can bridge the production-market demand they also have sustainable means of checking extreme poverty.
b) Strengthen agriculture-nutrition linkage. The link between agriculture industry and nutrition in our part of the world is very weak despite enormous potentials for reducing extreme poverty and improve nutrition particularly at the household and community levels.
The connecting element for these approaches is knowledge and skill given in the form of vocational training in AgFood and small food business development. Postharvest loss is very high especially perishable farm commodities. Non-perishable farm commodities are greatly underutilized with limited benefit. Both postharvest loss and underutilization of commodities occur on huge scale that made negative effect of climate change seemed irrelivant or even non-existent. But we know it is there. So the challenge really is to first of all overstretch obtainable benefits of ongoing harvests from field to market, to kitchen and table to be able to differentiate the real impact of climate change on local agricultural production and emerging associated extreme poverty. This is our situation.
Rabiu Auwalu Yakasai
Food and Nutrition Vocational Center (FNVC)
The age range 15-17 is a crucial short transition period that comes and goes with new entrants so fast that program design and implementation must be coherent and accurate for any meaningful achievement to be made. Scale, communities and governance environment are the specifics to watch. One of the most feasible options in my opinion, for securing decent employment opportunities for 15-17 is to intensify agriculture education and skill development during the youth’s rudimentary years in school. There is now global paradigm shift to ‘Newagriculture’ consequent of climate change, bio-fuel research, rising food price, food production shortfall and globalization that is effectively enhanced by ICT phenomenon. By implications of positive and negative impact on local agriculture say in Nigeria, it is very important to equally redesign the traditional agriculture curriculum and incorporate diverse practical aspects for intensive skills development.
In Nigeria, the traditional education system that a child must pass through consists of the followings:
1) Common Entrance Examination designed to filter primary school pupils for secondary education
2) West African Examination Council (WAEC) examination is to certify secondary school completion
3) Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examination to validate WAEC qualification in preparing for university registration. 4) National Business and Technical Examination Board (NABTEB) examination is designed for career pursue by youth with entrepreneurship indications
Due to increasing youth population and corresponding mounting pressure to create employment opportunities for the 15-17-18, an index new-agriculture examination (INDEX) is urgently required to filter out apt secondary school agric-entrepreneurs for special advance training and or engagement by industry operators. Underage may bear legal problem but in such a dire food insecurity and unemployment situations it is far better to engage the 15-17 in agric-industries than to be allowed to drift into the crime industry. The choice is really ours.
Piloting INDEX examination
A ten to twenty-year experiment could be launched in developing countries to pilot INDEX examination concept for 15-17 agric-entrepreneurship development. INDEX curriculum designers should bear in mind the different skills demand of 15-17-18 for securing decent employment. Decent agriculture-based employment hinges on capable knowledge and skills.
The starting point for INDEX launching bears in the core activities of the young farmers club (YFC) in primary and secondary schools. In fact, INDEX examination designers should be urged to provide training modules and classroom learning activities for YFC development. ICT contribution to pilot networking, scaling and replication of the INDEX system through m-agriculture, e-farming and Open Data management, the Internet and Mobile phone can be made highly available in rural primary/secondary schools to accelerate the effort. It may be worth trying.
I hope I am not getting to the nerves by appearing to be making excess inputting into the forum. If so, please bear with me for I cannot help it because as per as I am concerned the issue on hand is equivalent to designing new molding machine to produce building blocks for rebuilding the failed Nigerian state. I am so happy to be part of it all with the hope things will pick up for better of future Nigeria.
I concur with Mr Robert Kibaya of KIRUCODO Uganda on youth lacking seriousness. You see, In Nigeria youth negative attitude to agriculture is also a product of ‘LIVE GOOD WORK LESS’ system that was perpetrated by unpatriotic corrupt leaders. Generally, youth of the age in focus are at two-barrel social-gun point. One barrel is leadership system that flourish corruption of the highest order and it radiates from petroleum fortunes of the country but not agriculture or taxpayer’s. The second barrel is life style demonstrated by off-springs of the corrupted leaders and their cohorts. The effect on up-coming youth is loathing agriculture, its practitioners and advocators alike. Corrupt leaders are all over the place rural and urban hence their off-spring too who cannot hide their gaudy life style of riding latest car models at under 18, dressing in exquisite movie-styled local attire, distorting marriage folk norms and living in electricity wired tall concrete fenced house often referred to as ‘private prison’ by victims of the system.
Poisoned minds of ‘normal youth’ suddenly develop into a rush to make money and live similar pseudo life style. In school they pursue accountancy and banking courses with the intension to become cashiers in secured employment but certainly not interested in pursuing agriculture-based courses or become owners of farm business. Those that failed to continue schooling because the social disease has become serious canker worm boring deeply inside them, such youth can list all the team members of Manchester united football club off-head with no mistake. But for sure ask them to differentiate maize and bean at germination stage you will be disappointed.
Whether we like it or not, these youth will by next 30 years be children bearers and leaders by design or mistake, let us work towards the positive. Majority of all religious disaster in the country have large youth content. Just recently, youth of the lower post 18 are found involved in kidnapping for a ransom (emerging fast money making industry in Nigeria), latest involving woman senator that which has now prompted national and state assembly debate to pass a bill with heavy penalty - to hopefully contain escalation of the crime?
The challenge is herculean. Restoring youth mindset on agriculture, give them knowledge and skill, encourage legitimate productivity, create sustainable opportunities for them and strategize to retain them on the job to the point they become mentors and advocators of agribusiness to new upcoming youth generation.
Dear Jacqueline, the moderator
Please find attached an article on what Buhari [Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria, Ed.] said about Youth employment.
I just came across it in my inbox. Take the relevant part of the information on youth, agriculture, stakeholders, productivity etc and throw away the rest. What a timely coincidence, FSN Forum on youth empowerment and Nigeria's verbal insinuative search of solutions and direction. Please intervene ASAP
Happy link reading
Dear Jacqueline, the Moderator
There is one approach that provides inbuilt answer to the interesting rather ‘digging out’ questions that you set
- Youth under 18 accessing financial services, joining producer associations and participating in national youths and agricultural programmes?
- How youth under 18 benefit from policy, programme design or implementation?
The answer could be embedded in the third inquiry you made on education and vocational training and you was searching for cases? How about this
Education and agricultural vocational training used to go hand-in-hand in young farmers club (YFC) program that was famous and effective in Nigeria from colonial era to post independence years spanning up to the 80s when the YFC started disappearing in primary and secondary schools. YFC is collaboration between ministry of education (curriculum management and garden site) and ministry of agriculture (agriculture policy and expertise input) is typical case where policy and programme design deeply rooted. But policy, design and implementation in today’s dispensation all need to be redesigned to accommodate contemporary social and economic changes in society.
The new changes will bring in students of tertiary institutes (universities, poly-techniques, colleges) to prepare the youth towards accessing financial services, join or form producer associations and participate in national agricultural programmes. Thus, in tertiary institutes there is need to have Students Agribusiness Club (SAC) to complement members of the YFC that are on the rise in the education system.
The Required Changes
- New policy together with incentives, grants, development fund to revive YFC in primary and secondary schools in Nigeria
- In tertiary institutes there is need to float and or strengthen Student Agribusiness Club (SAC)
- Programme design for YFC and SAC should focus on vertical and horizontal development of commodity value chains in the country in full coordination with NYAA
- National Young Farmers Association (NYFA) to be headed exclusively by members of the SAC that were democratically elected from the bottom-up youth organizational structures in the states
Hello everyone, kindly check the attachment as promised earlier on regarding 15 to 17.
The youth can be source of problems to their own survival when they fail to harness their potential resources together. Typical example is trust, confidence and unity among themselves. In a setting where production factors (land, water, climate) and government support work in favour of the youth it is only the youth’s attitude and ability to grab the opportunities would salvage them from bad policy, political polarization and misrepresentation in development programs mostly designed for them. Youth input through advocacy for program planning, execution and monitoring is vital to ensuring maximum benefit.
In a situation where government is providing strategic support and creating opportunities for the youth, time and accuracy of implementation of the target program often becomes a means to its conclusive end. General elections cut short political administrations while running good youth program which if the gestation period is not reached in time the required impact would never materialize. Accuracy of program implementation is dependent on community specifics and to lesser extent local environment from start to finish which makes it highly critical in accessing youth chances for improved agro-based livelihoods in the rural areas.
More details in the attached case study on Empowerment for youth-driven commodity chain development (EYDCCD) program