Education Officer for Lilongwe Rural West District Education Office, Joyce Hamsini, says communities and primary schools should be growing sweet potato and orange maize to supplement government’s school feeding programme to ensure children get nutritious foods, mainly Vitamin A.
Hamsini said orange maize is very nutritious and has multiple uses in households as such could be a possible sustainable solution for combating Vitamin A deficiency and reducing dependence on fortification.
She said communities are used to white maize, hence the need to scale up efforts in raising awareness about the benefits from orange maize and sweet potato.
“Communities and schools that have some land for agronomy activities should start growing orange maize and other home-grown crops for the learners’ betterment,” says Hamsini, who is among officials touring programmes being implemented at Mseru Primary School in Lilongwe Rural West with support from United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), through
McGovern-Dole Food for Education and Child Nutrition Project in Malawi.
She further said the project has increased enrollment, literacy instruction, student attentiveness, student attendance and also increase the use of positive health and dietary practices.
The project is being implemented by Nascent Solution, an international non-governmental organisation, which stresses the need for best practices and soil testing for farmers to know what type of fertilizer to feed their crops for bumper yields.
Visiting USDA officials, led by Cami Taylor and implementation partners also toured the school’s maize, sweet potato and soya beans fields, before proceeding to Mavundikira Care Group in the same Lilongwe Rural West to observe some Care Group activities.
Reported by Yamikani Simutowe, MBC Online Services.