Africa Improved Foods (AIF), the Rwanda-based manufacturer has unveiled two commercial products to boost nutrition for the first 1,000 days of child development.
The high quality complementary foods were launched early this week and Prosper Ndayiragije, AIF’s Country Director is excited and confident about the positive impact that the foods are going to create especially to infants above six months as well as pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.
“We are proud to have unveiled the Nootri range products, the first of its kind in Rwanda. They are highly nutritious foods that are made in Rwanda using European technology to provide the right foundation to children in their first 1,000 days starting from their conception,” he said.
The production of Nootri is inspired by solid evidence that the first 1,000 days, from conception to a child’s second birthday, are critical for their physical and mental development. It is widely proven and acknowledged that offering the right nutrition during this window is essential for a child’s healthy growth and cognitive development.
“Older infants above six months and young children should receive adequate nutrition and high quality complementary foods, while continuing to be breastfed until a child is two years of age or more. AIF finds it important that all children get the opportunity to develop to their full potential by giving them a proper nutrition,” Ndayiragije added.
However, AIF also recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of an infant’s life and to continue breastfeeding until the child is two years of age to achieve optimal growth, development and long-term health.
The Nootri range products are now available in different retail outlets in the country at Rwf1,400 for a 500gms pack of Nootri Mama and Rwf1,500 for a 500gms pack of Nootri Toto. These foods are produced with locally grown maize and soya beans, which are then milled and blended with micronutrient pre-mix, skim milk powder and soya oil.
AIF has committed to produce at least 45,000 tones of the two products annually to satisfy the local market and export the surplus to the East African region.
Ndayiragije told IGIHE that AIF also produces non-commercial fortified blended foods called Shisha Kibondo in collaboration with the Government of Rwandan and Super Cereal in collaboration with the World Food Programme, both with the intention to help address children’s malnutrition and stunting amongst the population at the base of the pyramid.
AIF Rwanda is a joint venture between the Government of Rwanda and a consortium of Royal DSM, Dutch development bank (FMO), DFID Impact Acceleration Facility managed by CDC Group plc and IFC, the investment arm of the World Bank.
- President Paul Kagame takes a close look at Nootritoto, one of AIF Rwanda’s commercial products during a brief tour of the plant.
By Jean d’Amour Mugabo