By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja
The Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) has called on the Federal government to institutionalise an egg a day per school child in the home grown school feeding programme.
PAN Director general,Onallo Akpa made the call while addressing Newsmen in Abuja yesterday on the occasion of the World Food Day with the theme: An Egg a Day for the Nigerian Child.
Dr Akpa said the PAN in their prayers and demands to the FG were calling for the “Institutionalising an egg a day per school child in the home grown school feeding program.
He said a deliberate policy of an egg a day will create great impact assessment of school enrichment, cognitive development and mental development, making egg as part of the prisons feeding programme and initiating eggs and egg products as part of the feeding programme of the various peace keeping operations all over the world”
The DG also called on the need for eggs to be considered a priority food product that could be supplied to displaced people at various locations or camps throughout the country.
Earlier, Akpa had stated the benefits of eggs to include the regulation of brain,nervous and cardiovascular systems,containing naturally occurring vitamin D, prevention of breast cancer,promotion of healthy hair and nails and the containment of the richest mix of essential amino acids crucial for children, adolescents and young adults
He said the economics of eggs and challenges to National development varied as the egg industry all over the world is very strategic to the politics and economic development of any country.
” In Nigeria the economic importance of the poultry industry is evidenced by the fact that the poultry industry has been consistently contributing over 25% to the agricultural gross domestic product (AGDP)”
He added that in order to achieve the objective of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Agenda ahead,the importance of poultry products,especially chicken and eggs which contributes about 36.5% of the protein intake of Nigeria would need to be taken seriously.
Also speaking, Head of Dietetics, National Hospital, Mrs Sarah Abigail said with Nigeria having an emergency with regards to malnutrition stressed the need to promote the eating of eggs.
She said “By January 2017, available statistics showed Nigeria had over 11 million stunted children which starts from pregnancy and leads to low resistance to infections, poor mortality rates and affects brain development among several other issues”.
She stressed the need for Nigerians to disabuse their minds from the myths surrounding egg,stressing the need to eat eggs as a bridge to promoting good nourishment.