Orchard establishment yielding positive results

Behaviour change and good agricultural practices capped with best nutrition practices in mind are bearing good fruits at Mr Pachiti’s homestead.  Following Technical assistance (TA) from FARM and trainings on orchard establishment and benefits of fruits in diets last year, he has made efforts to establish a 0.1 ha orchard comprising of paw paws, macadamia nuts, mango, orange, lemon, and bananas to complement already existing masau and nyii trees existing around his homestead. He bought the fruit tree seedlings at Birchenough bridge and Chipinge Research Centre. The trees that are already bearing fruits since being grown last year are paw paws, oranges and bananas which provide different micronutrients such vitamins A and C. Mr Pachiti stays with his wife and two grandchildren who are at primary school level. Mr. Pachiti is a member of Mandiere group which was trained in dietary diversity and meal preparation where the emphasis was on the consumption of vitamin A which improves immune function, prevents night blindness, and improves eyesight. As a result, he decided to establish the orchard with a diverse range of fruits for improved nutrition, growth and health outcomes for his household.

Mr. Pachiti has also continued to grow vitamin A rich orange maize which they cook and eat as grain, grind, and prepare mealie meal as well as retaining for seed. Mr Pachiti said, “I did not grow trees at my homestead. I only maintained those that were there and those that grew naturally. I never had the idea of growing trees for purposes of human nutrition, shade, and animal feed. “Fruits are an excellent source of essential vitamins; minerals and they are high in fibre. Fruits also provide a wide range of health-boosting antioxidants, including flavonoids. They are a source of dietary fibre, which can help to maintain a healthy gut, reduce risk of bowel cancer and prevent constipation. Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables can reduce a person’s risk of developing non communicable diseases such as heart disease, cancer, inflammation, and diabetes.

Mr William Pachiti ward 4 , Bamhamire village (Chipinge) showcasing his 1 hectare orchard

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