Vice-President Inonge Wina has asked Zambians to start diversifying their diets at household level by reducing consumption of highly refined foods, saying low cost food crops are healthier and have more nutritional benefits.
The Vice-President explained that the switch to healthier diets was one effective way of addressing stunting and malnutrition in the country, as well as assurance of food security at domestic and community-levels.
According to a statement issued by Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Vice-President Stephen Mwansa, Wina said this when she received a team led by Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) board chairperson Isaac Ngoma, who paid a courtesy call on her to discuss developmental matters, Tuesday.
“The Vice-President has appealed to all Zambians to focus on diversifying diets at household-level by reducing the consumption of highly refined foods because it is cheaper and the action also comes with health benefits. She stated that practical measures, include turning to low-cost food crops that also have higher health benefits, such as millet, sorghum, sweet potatoes, pumpkins and cassava. As part of poverty reduction strategies, Mrs Wina also commended Chief Chitambo of Serenje District for calling on Zambians to promote and revert to more traditional foods that have greater health benefits. In the same vein, Her Honour the Vice-President has also commended hotels, lodges and restaurants that are promoting traditional dishes as part of their service offerings,” Mwansa stated.
“Mrs Wina stated that the gradual shift from predominantly maize-based meals is good for the nation as more nutritious foods will find more space at our tables. The Vice-President further stated that the switch is one of the low-cost and effective ways of also addressing stunting and malnutrition in the country, as well as assurance of food security at domestic and community-levels.”
He disclosed that Vice-President Wina had since directed all Ministries, Provinces and Spending Agencies (MPSA) to create conducive platforms for engaging non-state actors in the execution and delivery of government programmes.
“Mr Ngoma praised government for undertaking austerity measures aimed at increasing the resource base to meet developmental needs in the economic and social sectors. Mr Ngoma also requested government to put more emphasis on implementing programmes that will have greater positive impact in society, including addressing youth unemployment and women empowerment challenges. Mr Ngoma further stressed the need for government to focus on domestic resource mobilization and prudent debt management in order to stabilize the economy, and the Vice-President further reminded CSPR to play the interface role between government and the grassroots where it has a network of community and faith-based organisations. In order to actualize this action, the Vice-President directed Ministries, Provinces and Spending Agencies to create conducive platforms for engaging non-state actors in the execution and delivery of government programmes through timely information sharing and establishing mechanisms that foster community service delivery,” stated Mwansa.