Our indigenous fruits and grains are not only delicious but also nutritious and beneficial for our health and environment. These are some of the gifts that nature has given us, and we should cherish and protect them. Pictured above are some of the youth farmers who took part in the traditional grain processing and value addition of NTFPs skills training under the SPA2 project. They managed to make mawuyu/umkhomo, masawu/umnganwana, mbambaira/imbambayila jam & juices, with a little bit of some delicious nyemba pies.
These indigenous plant foods are part of our heritage and culture. They have sustained our ancestors for generations and can still nourish us today.
Let’s promote the value addition and commercialisation of these plant foods. Value addition is simply processing or transforming the raw materials into more valuable products such as jams, juices, oils, flours, snacks, or medicines.
By adding value and commercialising these plant foods, we can increase their demand, quality, and profitability. We can also create more awareness and appreciation for their benefits among consumers. We can also support the livelihoods of the rural communities who depend on these plant resources like these youth farmers in Mbire where there are lots of masawu, mawuyu, and many other delicious and nutritious wild fruits and insects. And we can also conserve the environment by encouraging sustainable harvesting and management practices.
So let us join hands in celebrating and supporting our indigenous plant foods. Let us eat them more often, share them with others, grow them in our gardens or farms, or buy them from local producers or markets. Let us also advocate for more research, education, and policy interventions to protect and promote these plant foods.
Let us show the world that our indigenous plant foods are not only good for us but also good for the planet!