ZAMBIANS should develop a culture of preserving foods, especially indigenous species, that are well adapted and can ensure household food security during periods of natural disasters such as droughts, says small-scale horticulturist in Chongwe district, Lunia Banda.
Ms Banda said fruits were important as a food security commodity for both rural and urban households while at the same time providing extra income through sales.
She said it was vital to preserve foods especially those which were seasonal so that they could be used during other seasons.
“Our Zambia is blessed with so many foods that could be preserved and also some fruits that can be crushed to form juices, drinks and jams for use later when the need arises,” she said.
Ms Banda said horticulture could play a big role to spur production of certain foods if the culture of preserving was enhanced.
She said fruits have been important as a food security source for both rural and urban households while at the same time providing extra income through sales that could be done throughout the year.
Ms Banda said fruits were a good source of essential vitamins and minerals, adding that if indigenous species were well adapted they could ensure household food security during periods of natural disasters such as droughts and floods. She appealed to various stakeholders to supplement the Government’s effort to help farmers market their produce both locally and abroad.
She said the production and processing of fruits were important economically and also serves to provide employment to a large segment of the population.
Ms Banda said Zambia had an ideal tropical climate that could provide opportunities for the cultivation of various types of fruit species such as mangos, paw-paws, bananas, guavas, passion fruits, pineapples, avocados, pears, peaches and grapes among others.
“We also have foods such as pumpkins, sweet potatoes, fresh maize, and all those could be preserved for future use and these are some of the things which we should do,” he said.