Njala University introduces Food and Nutrition Security Module
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s Chief Technical Advisor, Dr. Margaret Wagah has on behalf of the organization presented Learning materials on Food and Nutrition Security and Right to Food to the Njala University. (Photo: Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Ernest Ndomahina receiving the learning material from FAO’s Chief Technical Advisor, Dr. Margaret Wagah)
The presentation was made after the opening session of a training of trainers’ workshop for twenty five Lecturers from the Njala University Mokonday and Bo Campuses in the School of Agriculture, Social Sciences, Public and Community Health and Education from 14th – 22nd October 2015 at the University Guest House Conference Hall.
The objectives of the training are to provide technical and financial support to strengthen food and nutrition security and the right to food at diploma and degree levels; to financially support the preparation and printing of FNS and RtF teaching modules and syllabus; and to train lecturers on how to use the teaching and learning materials for the FNS and RtF module.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) facilitated the introduction of Food and Nutrition Security (FNS) into the curriculum of the University for students reading Agriculture and related subjects.
It is expected that this will put them in a position to understand that the problems of Food and Nutrition Security requires use of the Right to Food (RtF) Principles, which should be linked up with the right based approaches.
The FAO Chief Technical Advisor said the training will help link academia to the workplace, as it will entail embedding FNS and RtF into the University curriculum in order to enable students fit into the job market. She added that it will also link nutrition and agriculture, which calls for a multi sectoral approach. “I am impressed with the University taking a new important issue into its curriculum, which will enable Sierra Leone stand out,” Dr. Wagah said, and added that it will further influence the nutritional status of the country.
The Project National Coordinator, Dr. Philip John Kanu said the Programme “Mainstreaming Food and Nutrition Security and the Right to Food into Smallholder Commercialization Programme of Sierra Leone,” said is all about strengthening governance and coordination at central and district level, and facilitates the implementation of practical measures to improve nutritional status of individuals at field level.
The Director of Food Technology and Consumer Student, Dr. Abraham Smith, commended the intervention of FAO in helping them have a new module which has already gotten the blessing of the University’s Senate. He added that this will enable them contribute immensely to improving food security in the country.
“The new module will enable students to know about the importance of agriculture, food and nutrition in the country,” says Dr. Friederike Bellin-Sesay, Consultant for the project. She pointed out that the Lecturers should be ready to bring in new ideas to students so as to enable them contribute towards reducing malnutrition and make the country comfortable with food and nutrition.
The Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Ernest Ndomahina said hazard analysis and risk should be inputted into the new module. He suggested that it should also take into consideration indigenous knowledge and cultural practices. He further stated that it should also take into cognizance the fact that it is not only about production but the consumption of the product and its diversification.
“This programme will be a stepping stone that the farmers should consider as the first step in their career,” Prof. Ndomahina suggested. The opening session was chaired by Dr. J.B.A. Kandeh.
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