The United States Soybean Export Council (USSEC) in collaboration with stakeholders in Nigeria’s agronomy and poultry industry and the Nigerian government hosted a nutrition and food security forum themed “Nigeria Now”.
In a statement, the U.S. Consulate said the forum was to explore partnership strategies that would help increase access to healthy and nutritional food.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that USSEC is a non-profit U.S. trade group representing U.S. soybean producers, processors, commodity shippers, merchandisers, allied agribusinesses and agricultural organisations.
The group’s main goal is building preference, improving the value, and enabling market access for the use of U.S. soy for human consumption, aquaculture and livestock feed in 82 countries across the world.
According to the consulate, more than 8,000 people from the international poultry industry including the governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade, attended the event held in Atlanta, Georgia.
The consulate noted that the forum highlighted the importance of accessibility of affordable protein to sustainable national development.
Counsellor for agricultural affairs at the U.S. Mission to Nigeria, Gerald Smith, explained that the forum enhanced collaboration while enabling Nigerian industry stakeholders to meet the country’s vision for nutrition and food security.
Also, chief executive officer (CEO), USSEC, Jim Sutter, underscored the need for a shared priority that would enable nutrition and food security for families, communities and countries around the world.
“We need a shared priority that will also specifically improve access to healthy and nutritional food.
“USSEC is committed to collaborating with varied stakeholders in Nigeria’s soy value chain.
“We want to continue building on our growing partnerships in 2022 to help Nigerian leaders meet their food and nutrition vision for the citizens of their country,” Sutter said.
USSEC’s regional director of Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, Kevin Roepke, was quoted to have said he hoped Nigeria would take a diversified and multi-faceted approach to achieve food and nutrition security.
He said: “Local food and soy production is and will remain critically important, and we invite leaders to consider complementing their local supply with high-quality imports to most effectively and sustainably meet nutrition needs.” Roepke added that the ‘Nigeria Now’ forum would provide a pathway for accelerating food and nutrition security through collaboration and the identification of additional synergies and strengths.