ProVeg launches in Nigeria to promote benefits of plant-based diets
Image credit: ProVeg International
A new branch of the non-profit organisation ProVeg has launched in Nigeria to promote the advantages of plant-based food in the country.
The ProVeg Nigeria team will work in densely populated cities like Lagos as well as areas within the Sahel region below the Sahara desert to raise awareness about the benefits of meatless diets.
The organisation will also work to bring more plant-based produce to markets, streets, schools and hospitals across the region.
“I’m truly thrilled about the opening of the ProVeg Nigeria office and the impact we will have in raising awareness about the need to transform the food system to help people transition to healthier, more climate-friendly diets,” Hakeem Jimo, the new Country Director of ProVeg Nigeria, said in a statement.
“The people who will benefit most from this transition are those in the Global South for whom land pressures from animal agriculture have forced them to leave their land. Our policy work will push for a national strategy that implements a better food system by encouraging food innovation, particularly in the plant-based egg, milk, and protein spaces”, he added.
Bola Adeyanju, who has worked as an Ambassador for Chefs for Change and is the founder and Executive Director of VeggieVictory – Nigeria’s first plant-based meat company – will support the ProVeg branch, running cooking demonstrations in markets and universities around the country to show people how to include alternative proteins in traditional Nigerian cuisine.
“You can make all the typical Nigerian food like Suya [smoked, spiced meat skewer] Asun [goat meat dish], and even Nkwobi [spicy cow foot] and stews like Egusi [egusi seed, vegetables, meat and seafood] and Efo Riro [spinach] and of course Nigeria’s popular Jollof Rice with fried meat all in a mouth-watering plant-based style”, Adeyanju said.
The Nigerian team will also work together with companies like VeggieVictory to boost the consumption of plant-based proteins.
Prior to the launch of ProVegNigeria, the country’s team had already been running outreach sessions at schools, churches, and mosques, as well as campaigning to include more plant-based options in restaurants and the country’s ‘bukkas’ street food vendors.
ProVeg International is campaigning to boost consumption reduce meat consumption worldwide by 50% by 2040.
Meat consumption in Nigeria is expected to rise by over 300% by 2040 meaning the promotion of alt-proteins is all the more essential if ProVeg International is to fulfil its mission.
“We really welcome Nigeria to the ProVeg fold,” Sebastian Joy, President of ProVeg International, said in a statement. “ProVeg has an important role to play to ensure people have access to balanced plant-based diets to slow down and hopefully even reverse the current growth in meat consumption.”
“We believe promoting plant-based foods as both tasty and healthy and raising awareness about the impact of animal-based foods on the climate and biodiversity will help encourage all citizens of the world to transition to more plant-based diets. Having the ProVeg Nigeria team on board to support this mission is a major step forward for us,” Joy added.
Plant-based products are on the rise across the African continent. Last month, Brookside Dairy, the largest dairy company in Eastern Africa launched its first almond and soy milk products in Kenya. In alt-protein space, the country is also home to South African cultivated meat start-up Mzansi Meat and De Novo Dairy which is developing animal-free dairy proteins using precision fermentation.