The International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Sano Foods have called for the incorporation of orange fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) puree and flour in bread and other confectionaries to save foreign exchange for the country.
The appeal was made at the IITA Conference Centre in Ibadan, Oyo State during a product display program organized to showcase OFSP, several new and improved varieties of cassava and a number of value chain products from selected bio-fortified crops.
The two partner organizations noted that advocacy would stimulate production, processing and the prosperity of farmers and would help the country to save more by reducing the importation of wheat.
The collaboration between IITA and Sano Foods, an agricultural value chain player for healthy and organic foods from Abeokuta, seeks to confront vitamin-A deficiency through the adoption of bio-fortified foods such as potato, cassava and maize, as well as their by-products.
Several value chain products from bio-fortified crops were displayed, including turmeric garri (garri mixed with turmeric), OFSP garri (garri with orange fleshed sweet potato), OFSP bread, lemongrass juice, tea and several other products.
Kenton Dashiell, IITA deputy director-general of partnerships for delivery, while offering his Keynote address, emphasized the importance of cassava to the Nigerian economy and the need for farmers to embrace the new varieties.
Solomon Ojeleye, acting general manager of Sano Foods, remarked that the company’s vision was to ensure that Nigerians have access to organic and nutritional products as inflation bites harder and conventional vitamin-fortified foods become too expensive for most Nigerians.
He added that the organization has invested much into research and development to make OFSP available and affordable, while calling on bakers to use OFSP puree and flour as substitute for wheat flour to ensure consumers have access to healthy bread.