Ekwendeni Mission Hospital has distributed orange maize seeds to communities in Mzimba North Constituency to improve Vitamin-A intake.
Vitamin-A has multiple functions in the body, including growth and development, maintenance of the immune system and for good vision.
The initiative, according to the hospital, is under HIV and Aids programme being implemented with funding from Harvest Plus.
The maize seeds have been given to women self-help groups and individual families that are practising winter cropping in villages under Senior Chief Mtwalo in the district.
Speaking at the mini-agriculture fair organised by beneficiaries of the programme at Thimalala Community Day Secondary School on Saturday, the hospital’s chief medical officer Donatten Twizelimana said the hospital continues to register cases related to Vitamin-A deficiency, hence, finding it imperative to embark on orange maize distribution.
Statistics show that 250 000 to 500 000 children yearly are affected by Vitamin-A deficiency in the country.
Speaking on behalf of the farmers, Memory Luhanga of Uchizi Self-Help group called for extra support that can enable the farmers to cultivate the orange maize varieties at a bigger scale.
“Currently, we are using water canes, it would do us better if we had water pumps so that we should be able to cultivate at a bigger area,” she said.