Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Kondwani Nankhumwa has asked farmers in the country to diversify their farming to combat malnutrition and hunger.
The minister said this on Wednesday during the commemoration of this year’s World Food Day at Kankhomba Primary School in Thyolo where he was the guest of honour.
The theme for this year’s commemoration was Our Actions Are Our Future: Healthy Diets for a Zero Hunger World.
Said Nankhumwa: “There is a need for us as a country to work hard and produce enough food of different varieties to achieve this [zero hunger].”
The minister said diversification helps farmers to have a backup in times of such crisis because some crops such us cassava and sweet potatoes are drought-resistant.
He also said diversification ensures well-balanced diet within the household since most foods are readily available.
Concurring with the minister, a Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) representative ZhijunChem said people should not only focus on quantity of food but also quality to fight both hunger and malnutrition.
He said for the past few years, Malawi has been food-secure but there is need to do more to ensure its sustainability.
“All stakeholders should come together and show commitment to achieve sustainability,” he said.
Before the commemoration started, Nankhumwa and other stakeholders interacted with dairy, irrigation and fruit farmers around Bvumbwe Research Station.
One of the farmers, Davie Kachikono, said diversification has contributed a lot to the health of his family as well as financial stability.
“I have dairy cows and I grow different types of crops; hence, when one fails due to unfavourable weather condition I rely on the other,” he said.