Malawi: proper use of agricultural products for better nutrition
14-08-2018 | di COOPI

Malawi: proper use of agricultural products for better nutrition

Good agricultural products can improve health; for this to happen, however, the food must be prepared properly. Additionally, all nutritional food elements must always be present, so that the body can also develop.

This is what COOPI taught to members of the Mpinganjira Irrigation Scheme in Mangochi as part of the project "Strengthening the resilience of vulnerable communities in the districts of Salima and Mangochi" , financed by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS). The irrigation scheme has existed since 2014 and farmers have been able to see the benefits of adopting irrigated agriculture over the years. Nevertheless, it was also deemed important to provide training sessions on food preparation, starting from what they produce.

One of the peasants who took part in the food preparation training, Grace Loti, began in 2014 to grow corn, soybeans, sweet potatoes, sorghum and beans after joining the irrigation scheme, while she could only grow corn before. «I took part in both training sessions on food preparation», says Grace, «and I learned to use the same products to create different foods and improve the health of my family. For example, I learned to make juice out of sweet potatoes».

Farmers have been trained in preparing meals that include all major nutritional values, i.e. carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. Among the ingredients used, the most common ones are corn, soy, sweet potatoes, beans, pumpkin leaves and meat.

Local Agricultural Department representative Kuntaja Alabi says that «the lessons on food preparation provided by COOPI are particularly important for the health of farmers. Mpinganjira is, in fact, one of the areas subject to annual cholera epidemics, a disease that worsens when sick people are not adequately fed».