It’s not very healthy to just eat maize-Hivos

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Delegates attending the ongoing Hivos Southern Africa Hub Zambia Sustainable Diets for All (SD4ALL) meeting in Lusaka.
Delegates attending the ongoing Hivos Southern Africa Hub Zambia Sustainable Diets for All (SD4ALL) meeting in Lusaka.

International development organisation Hivos says there is need to promote the consumption of a variety of foods in Zambia.

Hivos Senior Programme Manager Sustainable Diets Frank Mechielsen said Zambia has a lot of people that are still not accessing healthy and diverse foods.

Mr Mechielsen said Hivos is now working on a programme to promote sustainable diets because the of the changing food system.

He was speaking on Wednesday during the opening of a series of meetings on Sustainable Diets for All (SD4ALL) organised by Hivos in Lusaka.

The meeting has brought together a total of 60 participants from different parts of the world who are working on the Sustainable Food Programme

“As you know, in many countries like Zambia, there are still many people who are hungry but also, there are people who are obese because of the unhealthy diet. We really want to make a change with this programme,” Mr Mechielsen said.

He added, “Our main concern about Zambia is that it uses monocropping of maize only. But there are a lot of attempts from the government to change this fact because it makes the country vulnerable to climate change.”

“It is also not very healthy to just eat maize. We need a variety of foods. We have to work with the people themselves because people nowadays know what is good for them. But what I hear from the people of Zambia is that there is potential in the diversification of crop, for example, millet and sorghum.”

Mr Mechielsen also appealed to the media in Zambia to raise understanding among citizens on sustainable diets.

“We also have a programme for the media because people don’t really have much understanding on issues of diets…all they know is something to do with Coca-cola, I don’t know if you have McDonalds here…they go for highly processed foods and it is not healthy,” he said.

He said Hivos wants the media to help write stories about traditional foods and proper diets.

“We are working in Zambia, Bolivia and Indonesia with civil society organisations to try and influence governments and the private sector to try and make this change in policies towards healthier, sustainable and diverse food production and also healthier consumption,” he said.

Hivos Senior Programme Manager for Sustainable Diets Frank Mechielsen at the ongoing Sustainable Diets for All (SD4ALL) meeting in Lusaka
Hivos Senior Programme Manager for Sustainable Diets Frank Mechielsen at the ongoing Sustainable Diets for All (SD4ALL) meeting in Lusaka

12 COMMENTS

  1. WITH ALL DUE RESPECT SIR MAIZE HAS BEEN OUR STAPLE FOOD FOR GENERATIONS AND WE DO NOT ONLY EAT MAIZE ALONE BUT IT IS EATEN WITH MEATS AND ASSORTED VEGETABLES. WE COULD SAY THE SAME ABOUT YOUR EATING OF BREADS AND POTATOES. WITH EVERYTHING GOING UP DRASTICALLY CAN YOU IMAGINE A FAMILY OF TEN OR MORE IN OUR POOREST SHANTIES AFFORDING BREAD AND PASTAS AND RICE?

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  2. S tupid i diots, tell us abiut obesity in the USA where people do not eat as much Maize other than in processed foods. What you should be talking about is changing life styles and eating habit. To pick maize as a cause is being naive.

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  3. Maize is our staple food and we do not eat it alone jus as you do not eat bread and rice alone.

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  4. We ar used it wil take another millennium to change our mind set. Otherwise nsima ni nsima. Ni proper.

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  5. Careful … They may accuse you of trying to overthrow their diets and end up charging you with treason. Hungry people are angry beings who may not take good advice kindly. Only a sudden disaster like climate change or army worms can change this dependency on these deeply entrenched poor diets! Whatever policy framework you come up with must be in line with the “hunting and gathering” culture of life. Good luck!

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    • Its as if people don’t know that Zambia has one of the worst cases of infant malnutrition in the whole of Africa. This directly affects brain development as can be seen practically everywhere XD

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