BY IAN CHIGAMBA
MACHINGA, JANUARY 28, MANA: People from Traditional Authority (TA) Mposa in Machinga on Tuesday held nutrition cooking displays that showcased various nutritious foods that are very important to people’s health.
The displays were held at the headquarters of Senior Group Village Headman Mtambalika where community members shared knowledge and skills of cooking nutritious food.
Food and Nutrition Officer (FNO) for Machinga District Council, Betty Tholo said cooking demonstrations give opportunity for community members to learn about the six food groups and their importance.
She explained that much emphasis is put on the six food groups because it is only through adherence to good principals of nutrition that people’s health can improve and make good contribution to the social economic development of the country.
Tholo said that, “We start from production to utilization with a focus on both nutrition and economic aspects. A lot of people always sell their farm produce when they harvest without considering the nutritious part of it.”
“Today, we have witnessed that for one to eat nutritious foods it does not need them to buy them from the towns and cities, these foods are locally available and that is what we encourage”, she emphasized.
Tholo commended all the stakeholders for good coordination which has made sure that the project runs smoothly.
Senior Group Village Headman Mtambalika thanked government for considering his area to take part in the project.
“There are many TAs in the district where you could have taken this initiative to my area. This is very commendable,” he said.
The Chief said that he would continue encouraging all his subjects to continue following the good principles of nutrition to make sure that the area remains health.
A Village Counsellor on nutrition who is a member of the Mlambe Club from Makawani Village, Margret Barnett said the project has helped to improve people’s lives in several aspects.
She lamented effects of climate change and the fall army worms saying that they have a devastating impact on their harvest.
“We are currently venturing in several alternatives in order to deal with these devastating effects so that we can continue to have a health community,” Barnett said.
Chairperson for Agriculture Stakeholders Panel and Water Users Association in the area, Fred Sita said the project is focusing much on Agriculture, Climate Change Effects, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.
He said people have welcomed the intervention and they are now following the modern ways of Agriculture and Hygiene as advised by the extension workers.
Sita bemoaned lack of male participation in the project as well as in agriculture because the area was close to Lake Chilwa and most of the men leave only women be involved in agriculture as they go to the lake and venture into fishing.
PRIDE is funded through a
highly concessional loan and grant from IFAD and a complementary grant under
the Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP).
17,500 smallholder households, particularly women and young people are benefiting from the program in Machinga district.
The function was held with support from Machinga District Council through Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Office, with funding from Promotion Rural Irrigation Development Enterprise (PRIDE) Malawi.