Traditional seed still best

The third objective is to draw attention to critical and timely Zambian policy and legislation frameworks that influences the transition of sustainable food systems. People at the festival had the opportunity to visit the seed corner, a display of different traditional seed varieties where small scale farmers like Mr Siabwizu and Mr Malanje showcased local crop varieties. Additionally, there was a food corner where a display of local seed brought to life in form of nutritious dishes, from soups to snacks, traditional confectionaries to traditional drinks. All made and cooked from our local crop and seed. There was also display of organic food as sources of nutrition for healthy lives, organic cosmetics and information on organic agriculture as a remedy to soil, plant, animal and human health. Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM) country coordinator Muketoi Wamunyima says the seed and food festival is important for the nation to recognise that traditional seed and food plays a critical role not only in the farmers’ and a healthy country. According to Mr Wamunyima, organic agriculture has four principles namely health, ecology, fairness and care. “Organic food is health for us and when we talk of ecology, we are basically talking about the ecosystem which we need to preserve. If we lose this biodiversity, we are not doing justice to the environment, in terms of fairness the food system should be fair so that farmers’ processes and everyone in return gets their fair share,” he said. The fourth is care, meaning that organic agriculture protects the environment and the health of the people. Human Rights Commission (HRC) chairperson Mudford Mwandenga who was the guest of honour at the festival noted that the seed and food festival was being celebrated at a time when traditional food is at crossroads. “Traditional seed and food are being relegated to the backstage in preference for high breed seed and modern food, but worse still the diets of many Zambians is limited and so narrow, concentrating on few vegetable crops and grains,” he said.
This is notwithstanding the fact that Zambia has over 3,000 indigenous local food and medicinal plants which have contributed to the vast biodiversity pool. He said the local foods and CLICK TO READ MORE

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