KELLY NJOMBO, Lusaka
HIVOS, a Dutch development organisation, has advised Zambia to develop a well-balanced production, processing and marketing system to promote demand for high nutritional value foods.
The organisation says a well-established processing and distribution agricultural industry plays an important role in promoting food and nutrition security.
According to Hivos working paper on agriculture, food systems, diets and nutrition in Zambia, availed to the Daily Mail, between the production of food on the farm and the consumption of food by consumers is a chain of storage, distribution, processing, retail, and preparation.
“To redress the balance, explicit attention is required to the production, processing, and marketing of nutritious foods needed for diverse diets.
“Speci f ic projects are needed to promote legumes, fruits and vegetables, in particular, to new sections of the population, to catalyse new markets and link supply and demand for foods that are high in both economic and nutritional value,” the statement reads.
It states that current value chains in Zambia are built on historic demand for certain foods, and distorted by maize-centric policy and spending that marginalises other foods.
Hivos notes that programmes targeted to assist farmers increase productivity should be clearly oriented towards diverse inputs for improved diets, and include a nutrition education component to improve demand for nutritious foods and farming inputs.