UDS, partners launch C-Real product to tackle child malnutrition 

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UDS, partners launch C-Real product to tackle child malnutrition . The University for Development Studies (UDS) in collaboration with the University of York (UoY), and the Savannah and Sahel Commodities Limited (SSCL), has launched a product aimed at combating malnutrition, especially among children in the Northern Region.

 The product dubbed: “C-Real” is an innovative and affordable instant fortified breakfast cereal aimed at tackling malnutrition, particularly among school children in rural communities and the wider public.

   The product consists of a locally sourced cereal and legumes cultivated on regenerative soil and processed into a healthy, nutritious meal and contains high content of plant-based protein and fortified with 18 different vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and B, zinc and folic acid suitable for anyone above the age of six months.

  The development of the product is supported by the UK Government through its Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Programme.

  The launch, which brought together stakeholders, including from the academia, health, agriculture, market women, and students among others, was held on the theme: “Academia – Industry Collaboration: A Case of the First African Agri-Food Knowledge Transfer Partnership (AAKPT) in Africa.”

 Professor Mamudu Abungah Akudugu, Project Lead Academic, Africa Agri-Food Knowledge Transfer Partnership, speaking during the launch in Tamale, said the product was developed because of the worrying global child malnutrition trends, which continued to put children at the risk of being stunted and wasted.

  He said, “The United Nations Children’s Fund survey in 2020 suggested that globally, an estimated 149.2 million children were stunted and 45.4 million children were wasted. In Ghana, about 17 per cent of children, representing two million children were also stunted and 13% of children aged between 6 – 23 months were said to be receiving just a minimum diet diversity.”

  Mr Senyo Kpelly, Chief Executive Officer, SSCL said the launch of the product marked the journey towards creating sustainable solutions to address the challenges of malnutrition and food security in the country.

  He underscored the need for government to prioritise incorporating the product into some of its projects, especially the school feeding programme, to salvage more children from being malnourished.

   Mr Kwabena Tahiru Hammond, Minister for Trade and Industry, who was represented at the launch, said the initiative was a demonstration of a strong collaboration amongst academia, research and industry.

 He called on academic institutions to prioritise establishing business incubators to serve as  hubs for nurturing budding business ideas, which could be up scaled to harness the entrepreneurship spirit among students with innovative ideas, which in the long run would help address the problem of unemployment among graduates.

 Madam Harriet Thompson, British High Commissioner to Ghana, who was represented at the launch, expressed need for strong collaboration amongst the partners, government and business owners, and communities to ensure that the product evolved in line with the demands of consumers.

Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, Northern Regional Minister, who was also represented at the event, commended the UK Government for the support, saying the launch of the product was timely and would contribute significantly towards government’s efforts to address malnutrition in the region.

Source: GNA


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