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2022 Progress Snapshot Feature Story – Nigeria

Buying and selling food at a traditional local market is a common occurrence around the world. It also offers an understanding of the risks unsafe food poses to human health and nutritional security.

Felicia Danlami, a shopper at a traditional market in Kebbi State, Nigeria, knows this risk all too well. At the market, she faces the prospect of purchasing produce from vendors like Alhaji Musa Bebeji, who may inadvertently source and sell food contaminated with bacteria or other microbial pathogens.

Markets like the one Felicia frequents provide access to highly nutritious but perishable foods, and food-borne illness can jeopardize it all: the impact of public health, nutrition and agricultural investments; the livelihoods of vendors; and the health of children, particularly in low-income areas.

Unsafe food causes 600 million cases of foodborne-related illness and 420,000 deaths a year, one third of which occur among children under 5. A Feed the Future program is working to improve the safety of nutritious foods in traditional markets. By focusing on consumers, vendors and other market actors, the program aims to improve awareness of hygienic practices and helps consumers demand safe, nutritious food to ensure all people, especially young children, thrive.

With the mantra of “food safety is everyone’s business,” the Feed the Future program collaborates and creates partnerships across sectors. The program, in collaboration with the Nigeria Federal Ministry of Health, trained individuals in traditional local markets to serve as “Food Safety Champions/Watchers” in and around the capital city.

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