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Nigeria gains vitamin A and iron breakfast boost

29-Aug-2012
Last updated on 29-Aug-2012 at 16:51 GMT

Nestlé is working with Nigerian farmers to boost grain quality as part of work to tackle malnutrition in the developing world by addressing micronutrient deficiencies.

In this instance, Nestlé is using nutrient-boosted grains grown in Nigeria and Ghana in its popular ready-to-eat cereal, Golden Morn, which is fortified with vitamin A and iron.

“More than 210 million servings [of Goldern Morn] are consumed in the country every year,” said Christian Abboud, business executive manager, Dairy Category at Nestlé Central and West Africa.

“By fortifying the product, we are offering millions of Nigerian families the opportunity to increase their intake of two essential micronutrients as part of their daily breakfast.”

“Our goal is to have a positive impact throughout the value chain, not only on local people’s diets, but also on the livelihoods of the local farmers we work with.”

About one third of pre-school children in Nigeria are deficient in vitamin A, while more than three quarters suffer from iron deficiency.

Nestlé’s work in battling micronutrient deficiency joins that of Vitamin Angels, Sight for Life, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and many others.

In 2011, Nestlé provide 53bn serving of iron, 102bn servings of iodine, 35bn servings of vitamin A and 14bn serving of zinc.

About 150m servings of Nigerian-made Golden Morn are consumed annually.

Grains Quality Improvement Project

The farmers work under the Grains Quality Improvement Project, launched by Nestlé in collaboration with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture .

It aims to reduce the levels of naturally occurring mycotoxins found in cereal grains.

About 30,000 farmers have taken part in the project since it began in 2009.

Nestlé launched iron-enriched versions of Maggi bouillon tablets and cubes in Central and West Africa earlier this year.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that vitamin A deficiency affects 190m children, with xerophthalmia, an eye disorder that can develop into blindness in children, a common side effect.

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