Harvestplus in partnership with Ministry of Agriculture has trained agricultural extension officers in Pro-Vitamin A Orange Maize with the view of reducing malnutrition levels among the farming community.
Harvestplus Zambia Deputy Country Manager, Emely Banda, stated that there was need for farmers who are the producers of the food to begin having nutritious meals.
Mrs. Banda said the major causes of poor health in Zambia were those associated to Vitamin A deficiency despite being the bread basket for Central and Southern Africa.
She said many farmers today faced the challenge of producing good and nutritious food for consumers but not for themselves adding that this had resulted in them lacking certain nutrients necessary for their survival.
Mrs. Banda noted that it was important to realise that there can be no nutrition without agriculture hence the training of agricultural extension officers who were always in contact with the farmers.
Mrs. Banda further said the need for good nutrition could not be emphasised stating that better health was key to human development.
She called on the every Zambian to develop the attitude of consuming locally grown foods in order to be productive rather than foods which took miles to enter the country.
Mrs. Banda said eating well was crucial to the mental and emotional health of every individual without necessarily spending a fortune on food.
And Lusaka Provincial Agricultural Coordinator, Linous Munsimbwe, has challenged the agricultural extension officers to educate the farming community on the nutritive value of the crops grown adding that the majority of the farmers grew crops only for sell.
Dr. Munsimbwe added that it was the ministry’s aim to ensure that the country was food and nutritional secure.
He said diseases weaken the immunity system and there was need to prepare the bodies by eating nutritious food to ensure good health.
He further stated that Harvestplus had come on board to support the extension system and promote the growing of orange maize in the country.
Dr. Munsimbwe thanked Harvestplus Zambia for the support adding that nutritious food was vital for everyone because it sustained people’s well-being and makes it possible to pursue happy and healthy lives.
He said government had recognised the Vitamin A aspect in the orange maize hence its inclusion in the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).
Officers from Chirundu, Kafue and Lusaka were trained.