The Director, Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, which is under the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Professor Veronica Obatolu, has given reasons why Nigeria is rated the second global highest with under-five stunted children.
According to Mrs. Obatolu, “Nigeria has the prevalence rate of 32 per cent of under-five stunted children. With this percentage, Nigeria is the second highest globally. In every 10 children, at least three are malnourished and protein deficient.
“This is why some of our children are not doing well in school; because what you eat affects your intellect. About seven per cent of child-bearing women in Nigeria are malnourished and protein deficient. The challenge of solving protein deficiency lies within our dietary choices. We need to consume more proteins in our rural and urban communities.”
The professor said: “Without gainsaying, we need to go back to agriculture. This is the only way forward and this is the only way the country can reduce the levels of protein deficiency, which has put many children and infants in dire situations.”
Professor Obatolu, a professor of human nutrition, advised individuals to invest in agriculture so that they would not depend solely on their salaries, as agriculture can improve the standard of living for the populace.
She described agriculture as the oldest occupation of mankind, saying it remained the solution in financing and boosting the economy of the nation and alleviating protein deficiency. Sun News