Feed the Future Zimbabwe Fostering Agribusiness for Resilient Markets (FtFZ – FARM) conducted meal planning training in Masvaure village, Ward 25 of Mutare District to 22 members (73 percent females and 18 percent youth) of newly formed Hard Target Producer group. The training was conducted through meal demonstrations showcasing seven recipes included bean muffins, multi mix porridge, beef in milk, avocado and sweet potato porridge, bean/cow pea fritters, mashed pumpkin, and cow pea mealie buns at Nelson Ndanyafa’s homestead, the Chairperson of Hard Target group to demonstrate how farmers can utilize locally available food to prepare nutritious wholesome meals for attainment of healthy nutrition outcomes. “We used to cook fat cook buns with sugar and flour only at home and waste flour preparing unhealthy foods. Little did we know that there are nutritious recipes which are also time and labor serving. I will start today cooking these recipes at home,” said Mupambirei Cecilia.
Following trainings on balanced diet, 15 members of the group have bought 40 kilograms of Rakodzi Kleinkaroo (K2) sorghum seed worth $112usd for planting this season. The members used to grow maize which did not reach full maturity for the past 2 years. Rakodzi is a short season sorghum variety which matures within 75 – 90 days and is not attacked by birds thus giving an improved harvest which in turn will improve meal variety, availability of ingredients during meal preparation and improved income through the sale of surplus harvest. These meal demonstrations have changed the mindset of the group which wanted to buy household utensils at the end of the year.
They have decided to continue making savings from their contributions of $2usd per month and have planned to procure sugar beans and NUA 45 for planting this season as NUA 45 is one of the ingredients required in the FARM Activity promoted milk-based recipes. The group also cited challenges in milk production from cows which has posed a challenge in the milk recipes becoming a success. Trainings on fodder production were conducted and 10 group members bought 210liters of molasses worth 43USD for urea treatment of stover (UTS) UTS is a supplementary livestock feed that improves livestock body condition score and better prepares livestock for breeding thus improving milk reserves for consumption.