Dear Farmers: See How 'Surfe' Is Leaving Our Children Malnourished
The Gombe State Nutrition Officer, Malam Suleiman Mamman, has attributed the increasing malnutrition problem being experienced in the state, to the threshing of grains particularly maize before grinding it into flour for consumption.
According to him, this is because a mother who consumes only carbohydrate that is left of threshed grain cannot produce quality breast milk for her baby because she lacks protein.
He told Bounce News that threshing of grains has always been discouraged because it reduces the nutrients.
“We don’t allow grain threshing, but there are some particular grains that must be threshed like Soybeans because there are things, we call inhabitants which prevent the obsessions of protein most especially on children.
“If not for Soybeans, threshing is completely kicked against. By threshing, you winnow away the only nutrients in the grains that is why you discover that animals that are feed with the supposed waste (chaff) tend to look fresh, fat and shining”.
Surfe (threshing of grains particularly maize before grinding it into flour,) as it is called in Hausa, has become a trend for most households in Gombe state.
The process of the threshing involves peeling the grain’s coats and polishing the maize to give it a whiter look.
To most residents, preparing and eating meal from threshed grain is classy.
However, the eventual result of such meals on the human body can be disturbing according to nutritionists.
Down town Gombe are these milling shops, residents patronize these units to have their grains refined before grinding into flour.
Jamilu Abdullahi says it is the whiter look and the softness of the meal that makes them attracted to threshing before grinding.
He added, “Yes it could be true that the best nutrient peel away after threshing, but you know we all like enjoyment”.
Rabi Abubakar, a nutritionist with Gombe State Primary Health Care Development Agency (GSPHCDA), stated that adequate complimentary feeding has always been advised for all “especially children”.
She said, “There is nothing adequate or complimentary in consuming threshed grains”.
Abubakar told Bounce News that most of what is being consumed as balance diet today does more harm than good to human system.
"That why people in the villages (Rural Areas) appear and live healthier than those in the cities because they consume the best diet and nutrition found in grains", he said.
The trend of grains threshing before grinding of grains has brought about a new dawn to some families who now make a living from the vending the peeled out waste as chaff for animal consumption in Gombe, the state capital.
50-year-old Muhammad Sani is one of such chaff vendors at BCJ Quarters Gombe, said that the business has been fending for his family for the past ten years.
The father of 15 children, added that the business is thriving due to demand by the growing number of animal breeders in the state.
"Maize chaff stands out of variety of chaff like Beans, Groundnut among others. Animals feeding from Maize chaff tend to fetch more money when taken to market for selling, because they look fat and healthier", he explained.
A 50KG bag of maize chaff now goes for three to five thousand naira in the market, a development Sani described as a cool business that have continued to put food on the tables of some financially challenged families.
Please share this story with your family and friends
ALSO WATCH TONY AND JONA ON BOUNCE DAILY ROUND