The Bauchi State Government says it will introduce soybeans into its school feeding program to increase the nutritional value and ensure healthy living among the 600,000 beneficiaries across the state.
Mr Yahuza Adamu, the Chairman, Bauchi State Soybeans Utilisation Committee said this on Saturday in Dass Local Government Area during a food fair on dishes processed from soybeans.
The fair was to mark the end of a two-day training programme on processing of soybeans to make local dishes and recipes.
The fair was organised by Mennonite Economic Development Associate (MEDA) an International Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) to promote agricultural value chain in six Local Government Areas of the state.
Adamu, represented by Mr Mohammed Chinade, a member of the committee said that the committee would look into the various meals and make recommendations to the appropriate authority for implementation.
According to him, soybeans have high nutrients for both physical and mental well-being of individuals.
“The committee will look inward and recommend the use of soybeans in the school feeding program which has 600,000 pupils as beneficiaries in 2,500 schools in Bauchi State.
“The Federal Government allows states to use local crops in the school feeding program, we produce soybeans in high quantity in the state and therefore, it will be considered,” he said.
In his remark, Mr Illiya Shuaibu, an official of MEDA, said that 50 women participated in the training programme, but added that, eight were selected to partake in the food fair using local recipes.
He said the objective of the training was to build the capacity of participants on household soybeans utilisation.
Shuaibu said that it was also to sensitise them on the health and nutritional value of the grain as well as to incorporate it into daily household dishes for consumption and income generation.
Mrs Harira Bello, the Coordinator of MEDA, Dass Local Government Area, called on the state government to involve those that participated in the training in passing the knowledge down to food vendors in the state.
“Reflecting on the MEDA training in Ghana, we were able to learn a lot of recipes using soybeans, it is sad that we produce soybeans in higher quantity but don’t utilize it as we saw in Ghana,” she said.
At the end of the food fair, mechanised stoves were distributed to the eight final participants for using their personal money to cook various meals for the fair, NAN reports.