Agriculture Minister Michael Katambo says consumption of local foods is key to reducing non-communicable diseases such as malnutrition.
In a speech read on his behalf by Agriculture Permanent Secretary Julius Shawa during the launch of the Traditional Food Value Book organized by Hivos-Southern Africa, Katambo said the Ministry was determined to increase the production and consumption of local foods both at homestead and national levels.
“I am pleased to be accorded this opportunity to officiate at the launch of the Traditional Food Value Book. Let me begin by commending Hivos-Southern Africa, and the consortium partners-International institute for environment and Development (IIED) for the initiative of stocktaking and documenting the various local foods of value in Zambia. This is indeed commendable as it creates awareness to the consumers on the available local foods and their nutritive values. As you are aware, the Ministry of Agriculture is promoting crop diversification through programmes like the e-voucher under the Farmers Input Support Programme, which allows farmers to access inputs of their choice. This contributes to improve diversity in both food production and consumption of local foods.” Katambo said at Southern Sun Hotel in Lusaka, Thursday.
“The Ministry is determined to increase the production and consumption of local foods both at homestead and national levels. As a Ministry we are determined to strengthen agricultural extension and seed system services, research and development especially in indigenous local foods. I am certain that this will improve the dietary and nutritive value by targeting households most vulnerable to hunger and malnutrition and; and increasing consumer demand for diverse nutritious local foods in the country. The Ministry of Agriculture will continue to support and work with various stakeholders in designing programmes to increase the production and consumption of local foods that are adapted to local climatic conditions. The launch of the Traditional Food Value Book is one of the strategies to partner with stakeholders in creating awareness of the available local foods.”
He also said the Ministry was determined to strengthen agricultural extension and seed system services, research and development especially in indigenous local foods.
“I am delighted to state that the Ministry of Agriculture has developed messages on the processing and preservation of local foods of value. Furthermore, the Ministry has also developed the national agriculture extension and advisory services strategy to promote production, processing and consumption of various agricultural products. As we revert to the healthy living campaign through the consumption of local foods, I wish to call upon other stakeholders to emulate Hivos-Southern Africa and the international institute for environment to partner with government in creating awareness on the production and consumption of local foods,” said Katambo