An agriculture officer in Nalolo district has urged farmers in Sianda and Kataba areas to start preserving food so as to increase its shelf life.
Ms. Patience Munalula said preserving food helps farmers to have continuous food supply throughout the year.
Ms. Munalula was speaking today at Lubosi primary school during a food preservation and value addition farmers’ training organized by Actionaid Zambia in Nalolo district.
“Food preservations also prevents wastage of food and ensures that seasonal products are available all the time,” she said.
Ms. Munalula stated that people can preserve food such as fruits and vegetables by drying them especially that most of them can be consumed in their dried state.
“There are common vegetables and fruits that can be preserved and properly stored such as pumpkin leaves, cassava leaves, cowpeas leaves and tomatoes among others,” she added.
Ms. Munalula also encouraged the farmers to construct community seed banks for future use and easy storage of their seed.
“It is important to create seed banks because it will help people keep seed for the next farming season,” she said.
And a farmer from Sianda area, Chuma Mwiya thanked Actionaid for empowering them with knowledge on how to preserve food.
Ms. Mwiya said people in communities usually ran out of food before the next harvest season because they do not know that they can preserve and store food for future use.
“We have just noticed that most foodstuff go to waste because we didn’t know how to preserve it,” she said.
Another farmer from Kataba, Mwangala Mutemwa welcomed the idea of constructing seed banks.
“People will also desist from wasting seed anyhow because no one will have access to it as an individual for it will be kept under strict conditions,” he said.
A total of 41 farmers from Sianda and Litoya have since been trained in food preservation and development of community seed banks. – ZANIS