Lost seed is lost variety

Steve Ephraem

“LOST seed variety is lost nutrition.” This was the theme for a seed marketing program which was held at Mhakwe in Chimanimani.

The marketing day was hosted by Towards Sustainable Use of Resources Organisation (TSURO) Trust in collaboration with Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM Association) Zimbabwe and African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB).

In his opening remarks, the executive director of TSURO Trust, Backson Muchini, indicated that the day was meant for farmers to boost seed banks.

“This day is very important to us since it enables farmers to exchange seed varieties. It is important that farmers build their own seed banks in order to build resilience to disease and climate change impact.

“These seed have better nutrition value than hybrid seeds on the market. Our farmers must not lose traditional seed.  Grow seed that you are acquainted with. That way, we can have food sovereignty,” he saidIn his speech, the guest of honour, Chimanimani District Development Coordinator, Joseph Manyurapasi urged farmers to grow traditional seeds.

“This program is very important as it helps communities to be food secure. The Government of Zimbabwe is promoting cultivation of traditional seed in dry regions.

“Traditional small grains are vital for nutrition and also resistance to climate change. We are encouraging the gene bank to work closely with our farmers to protect traditional seed varieties,” he said Hundreds of farmers under TSURO Trust as well as other organisations which are members of PELUM Association such as PORET and CELUCT participated in the seed market. The event was graced by traditional leaders Chief Muusha and Chief Saurombe.

Delegates who hailed from African countries and were on an exchange visit, benefitted very much from the seed marketing program. The delegate were from Kenya, Zambia, Malawi, Zanzibar, South Africa, Uganda and Ethiopia.

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