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Grace Adegoye

Championing Health and Nutrition Throughout Nigeria’s Fish Supply

Championing Health and Nutrition Throughout Nigeria’s Fish Supply

As a champion of environmental health and nutrition, Grace Adegoye leapt at the opportunity to educate fish processors in her home country of Nigeria on how to improve the quality and safety of their products. Grace, a young nutrition scientist at Mississippi State University, contributed to a training program developed by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Fish to support this vital Nigerian community.

Processed fish is an inexpensive, accessible source of nutrients and protein for many Nigerians—and an important livelihood for many women—but environmental toxins and unsafe processing methods can expose fish to harmful contaminants that put consumers at risk.

To address this challenge, Grace is developing training materials for fish processors. She integrates graphics and other low-literacy approaches, like flipcharts, to demonstrate safe fish-processing methods and the economic advantages of selling high-quality fish products.

“In Nigeria, fish is an indispensable source of nutrition for millions of families,” said Grace. “It’s important to me to apply my knowledge to real-world efforts that educate others about food safety and combat malnutrition and fight poverty in my home country.”

Grace had planned to travel to Nigeria to develop culturally appropriate components of the training materials. This included taking photos of fish processors handling their products in the market. As COVID-19 prevented her from traveling, Grace adapted by taking photos of herself demonstrating safe processing practices with model fish.

With her knowledge of the local context, Grace also developed the idea of using brightly colored wristbands, hand fans and aprons—all worn and used by many Nigerian women—printed with nutrition and food safety information to promote the project’s key messages.

Grace and her colleagues are empowering Nigerian fish processors and families to rise to the challenge of strengthening food safety and combating malnutrition, one fish at a time.

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