Government keen to promote small grains – official
Harare (New Ziana) – Farmers have been urged to promote the production and consumption of traditional millet varieties across the social divide as the grains play an important role in contributing to the country’s food security and good nutrition agenda.
Hilda Manditsvara, chief crop production specialist in the Ministry of
Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Development,
said this was in line with the government’s national development
strategy to transform agricultural systems to strengthen household and
national food security.
She made the remarks at the 11th edition of the Zimbabwe National Seed
Fair, running under the theme: ‘Celebrating the wonder of Zimbabwean
“The promotion of millets and traditional food will help Zimbabwe in
strengthening household and national food security, promoting
small-scale farmers’ seed sovereignty and resilience, adapting to climate change and achieving sustainable development,” Manditsvara said.
“This last farming season alone, the nation managed to harvest 280 966
metric tonnes of traditional grains, up from 194 100 metric tonnes in
(the) 2021-2022 season. This is a commendable upward trajectory in the
production of small grains. It is therefore our stance as government to
encourage Zimbabweans across all sectors to adopt and embrace the
production and consumption of our traditional millet varieties,” she
She applauded an advocacy farming body, Participatory Ecological Land
Use Management (PELUM) which promotes the interests, particularly of
small grains seed, of small holder farmers.
The group regularly holds seed fairs at which small holder farmers from
across the country participate to promote production of small grains,
develop their markets and strengthen seed systems of the crops.
“We commend the work being done by PELUM Zimbabwe network and the Zimbabwe seed sovereignty programme with other partners in promoting the
growing and consumption of local indigenous and traditional foods
through such events,” Manditsvara said.
“It is our responsibility to ensure that future generations are food
secure and sovereign. Millets are an immediate answer to the threat of food insecurity amidst climate change,” she said.