Experts have advised Nigerians on the need to cultivate Soybeans to curb malnutrition.
The experts gave the advice during a protein challenge webinar series 8, themed, ‘The Nigerian Protein Deficiency Report 2020: Unpacking the Numbers, Exploring the Issues.’
The provost of the College of Agriculture, Osun State University, Prof. Adetunji Kehinde, noted that the poor status of protein consumption in Nigeria remained the leading cause of protein deficiency in the country.
He said, “Widespread and aggressive production of soybeans across the country will contribute to efforts to curb the incidence of protein deficiency in the country.
“Soybean is a rich source of protein and other valuable nutrients. It promotes growth, repairs worn-out cells in the body and improves general health.”
He posited that if more people plant soybeans, not just farmers alone, it would directly boost the availability of high protein foods to the citizenry.
“Increased production of soybeans will not only alleviate protein deficiency, but it will also aid the agricultural and livestock industries as well,” Kehinde said.
He added that the recent scarcity of soybeans in Nigeria had led to the increase in prices of animal protein foods like which are important food sources for a balanced diet.
Also, a nutritionist, Dr. Beatrice Oganah-Ikujenyo, said the continued reliance on a diet of staple foodstuffs that lack protein would undoubtedly result in protein deficiency.
She, therefore, called on the government to work to increase awareness on various sources of protein available and affordable to the people and also pay attention to the growing of protein sources such as soya beans, beans and animal production.
Another expert, Dr. Adepeju Adeniran, maintained that increasing the amount of plant protein-rich foods was imperative to reduce the level of protein deficiency in the nation.
She said eating soybeans, groundnuts, and other legumes would be largely beneficial to low-income earners who could not afford animal protein food sources.
SOURCE: PUNCH NIGERIA