MASVINGO – Zimbabwe Small Holder Organic Farmers’ Forum (ZIMSOFF) held one of its routine field days in Topora showing off farming practices, seed preservation and the type of foods recommended for communities.
The field day was held at Topora Business Centre in Ward 14 under Chief Chikwanda and at Mutya Primary School in ward 15 in Masvingo Rural District, where they were showing off the small grains (mhunga) porridge with peanut butter that is fed to ECD A, B, grade 1 and 2 daily as part of healthy eating.
Mutya Primary School Development Committee (SDC) chairperson, Blantina Mharapate who is also a member of ZIMSOFF said they made it mandatory to cook the small grain porridge to the lower grades for their rich nutrients.
“We noted that we had to catch them young in teaching them the benefits of eating the indigenous food grains that we have as a country because they are very nutritious hence the initiative at the school”, said Mharapate.
Johann Singer the Programmes Officer for Zimbabwe Brot fur die Welt from Germany who is also one of the funders of ZIMSOFF who was also present at the field day was impressed with what was displayed and the indigenous food recipes that he ate at the event.
Speaking to The Midweek Watch Singer said that their farming practices are very crucial for everyone to take note of because climate change is now a global phenomenon hence the need to embark on growing of climate proof small grains.
“I am quite impressed with the farming practices that I saw when we were touring around and I believe everyone should take note of these practices because climate change is affecting everyone so it’s best if everyone practices it to be on the safe side,” said Singer.
“Healthy eating is encouraged all over the world and with what I have seen here I believe they will never run short of food because they have protein from the fish from Lake Mutirikwi, their small scale animal projects (poultry, goats etc) and the small grains farming”.
Chief Chikwanda who was also present pointed out that ZIMSOFF is taking them way back in time when they used to eat indigenous small grains and farming methods that have uplifted most families under his jurisdiction.
“I am very happy and impressed by what ZIMSOFF is teaching the communities all over Zimbabwe and particularly under my jurisdiction I have noted that that most households are food sufficient as a result of small grains farming,” said Chief Chikwanda.
“We have been taken back in time where we used to have these healthy eating habits from our ancestors and it’s a good initiative for the youths to take note of these healthy tips,” he added.
National coordinator for ZIMSOFF, Nelson Mudzingwa said that one of their funders Brot fur die Welt has visited to take stock of their concerns and see what they were doing in Topora.
“Today we had a visit from one of our funders, Brot fur die Welt from Germany to have an insight of what the farmers are actually doing and get an appreciation of their needs and concerns as part of their annual assessment of all the projects that they fund in the country,” said Mudzingwa.
ZIMSOFF is the voice of the peasants struggling for social justice in Zimbabwe that envisions improved livelihoods of organized and empowered smallholder farmers practicing sustainable and viable ecological agriculture.
ZIMSOFF is campaigning to influence policies and public awareness towards agroecology and smallholder farmers’ rights on access to healthy soils, clean water and local seed.