Experts and other key stakeholders in agriculture and the food sector have identified the African Yam Bean (AYB) as a food security crop with numerous benefits capable of tackling malnutrition in the country.
They made this known during the showcase of foods at the University of Ibadan (UI), Oyo state. The event was jointly organised by Peas’ n Chip’s entrepreneur project, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Agro impact Projects and Empowerment Initiative, and the UI Women’s Society.
In her opening speech, Dr. Sarafat Tijani, the Peas and Chips entrepreneur project stakeholder networking specialist, says the African yam bean is rich in protein, vitamin D, B6, B12 and minerals such as zinc, iron and trace amounts of selenium. The bean is also rich in phenols, flavonoids, and other important nutrients beneficial to health. Dr. Tijani said the crop could prevent diabetes, obesity and heart ailments because of its antioxidants. Antioxidants help the body fight free radicals that can cause cancer and other metabolic diseases.
She stated that it promotes weight loss because it is low in fat but high in dietary fibre. “It also promotes easy digestion and prevents constipation,” she said.
Speaking on the nutritional benefits of the African yam bean, the Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, UI, Professor Stella Odebode, said that the crop has a lot of potential in alleviating malnutrition and nutritional deficiencies.
In the same vein, Dr. Morufat Balogun, the project research co-investigator of IITA and the university of Ibadan, stated that the yam bean is a drought-tolerant crop in which the bean and tubers are edible and can grow on multiple soils. She added that the crop is very resilient, because it could stand extreme weather conditions while improving soil fertility. Eagle Online