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Presentation 18: Advocacy: An Essential Component In Creating Enabling Environment for Scaling Up Bio-Fortification-The Experience of BNFB Project

The Building Nutritious Food Basket (BNFB) project is testing a scaling up model through multiple crops (food basket” approach, drawing on complementary CGIAR expertise for scaling up bio-fortified crops to reduce hidden hunger in Nigeria and Tanzania.  The project focuses on advocacy, aimed at catalyzing policy change and mobilizing resources, strengthening institutional and community capabilities and disseminating proven bio-fortified technologies comprising vitamin A rich staples (orange-fleshed sweetpotato, yellow cassava and orange maize) and high iron beans.

To achieve its advocacy efforts, the project uses various advocacy tools to increase awareness of bio-fortified crops, influence policy and improve government response to micronutrient deficiency at different levels. The project works through advocates who seek to influence leaders and champions to advocate for favorable policy environments. The advocacy tools used include participation at high level policy dialogue, inclusion of bio-fortification in national advocacy tools, nutrition education, behavior change communication for demand creation, exhibition of various bio-fortified crops at national programs, sensitization of relevant line ministries on bio-fortification and it’s mainstreaming in their nutrition programs.

The advocacy activities has so far resulted in increased awareness on bio-fortification among key decision/policy makers, Investors and other relevant stakeholders in Nigeria. Bio-fortified crops have been prioritized in 2 policy documents while USD 235,000 has been raised towards dissemination of bio-fortified crop planting materials and capacity development. Discussions are on-going with two state Governments and an international donor on investments towards orange-fleshed sweetpotato. Already, there are 5 private sector led investments in the bio-fortified crop value chain across the country, 15 Advocates identified nationally to drive the process and 3 Request for Proposal (RFP) calls have been extended to the project for collaboration from development Partners and Donors.

However, advocacy for scaling up bio-fortification has been faced with challenges of misconception of bio-fortified crops for GMO and buying into bio-fortification by some ministries that are used to supplementation and elemental fortification. Continuous nutrition education and sensitization cannot be over emphasized in addressing these challenges.  

Key words:       Bio-fortification, Scaling up, Advocacy, Investments, policy

Authors: Olapeju Phorbee

Subjects: MPU CoP


Publication Date: 2017

Rights: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) - You can copy, distribute, display and perform the work and evolved versions of it. You must give the original creator credit for the work.

Keywords: Advocacy, Bio-fortification, Investments, policy, scaling up