The official launch held at UP’s office was presided over by the Executive Director National Nutrients Agency (NANA) Pa Modou Phaal.
Giving an overview of the project, Ousman Jammeh, project manager, thanked the European Union for funding the project.
According to him, the bio-fortification project locally referred to as ‘Baluu Timmaring Ngo’ is a four-year project with funding from European Union.
Jammeh hinted that the total project cost is $2.6 million being implemented by United Purpose.
“The United Purpose is implementing the project through 6 national NGOs and 4 marketing federations. The overall objectives of the “is to reduce under nutrition and poverty of vulnerable population especially women and children in The Gambia by strengthening sustainable access to consumption of fortified foods”.
Jammeh observed that lack of food and knowledge on nutrition is a challenge particularly for mothers, which he said, results into critical deficiencies for children.
Malnutrition, he observed, is a problem throughout the country, but varies between different local government areas.
“In term of micro-nutrients deficiencies, the result of the 2013 Demographic and Health Survey showed that iron deficiencies anemia is present in 72.8% of children under five and in 60.3% of women of childbearing age” he added.
Jammeh went on to state that women living in rural areas are more likely to be underweight 20 % than those in urban areas 14%.
However, he cited that low levels of nutrition in women aggravate the deteriorating status of nutrition and health amongst children.
Pa Modou Phaal, executive director of the National Nutrient Agency (NANa) expressed impression with the success of the project.