By Margaret Matibiri
STAKEHOLDERS in rural district communities have been urged to conduct aggressive trainings and awareness campaigns on issues of food preservation as a crucial part of ensuring food security in the country as some areas have been affected by drought.
Speaking during a stakeholders workshop in Mutawatawa hosted by Caritas Harare in partnership with Cafod which gets funding from UKaid, Acting Engineer Mechanisation Isheunesu Mugwagwa said training on food preservation methods was crucial in the face of drought.
The workshop was meant to understand the state of the Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe (UMP) district’s drought preparedness. Stakeholders who were on the ground gave expert submissions through departments of Agritex, livestock and veterinary services and the district nutritionist.
“The most crucial thing at this point is the issue of food storage facilities in the district, do we have proper storage facilities for the harvest no matter how little the harvests seem,” Mugwagwa asked.
“The most important thing is to educate our farmers on how to preserve the little harvest they get so it lasts them through the season. Talk of production without proper education on what to do with the produce will not ensure food security, rather post-harvest management practices have to be invested in.”
Mugwagwa reiterated on the need for proper storage facilities to ensure minimal loss of the much-needed food.
“In as much as there is a drought, we will have one or two farmers who will have a good harvest that will probably last them the whole season if it’s stored properly.
“There is a need for training farmers on these issues which are crucial, the fight against drought is in vain if the little grain harvested is lost due to poor preservation methods. Yes, we can produce, but the large grain Bora is waiting to attack our harvest. It is then necessary that awareness campaigns be held to educate our people on how the metal silo’s and other storage and preservation methods are the way to go.”
UMP has not been spared in the drought with Pfungwe being the most affected due to the distorted rainfall patterns, threatening the livelihoods of community members.
By Margaret Matibiri