Communities told to embrace backyard integrated farming

Communities in Mzimba District have been advised to adopt backyard integrated farming for them to afford a balanced diet of six food groups at household level.

The district’s Afikepo Nutrition Programme coordinator Mabvuto Mfune advised the people recently during an open day at Champhira Extension Planning Area (EPA).

He said backyard integrated agriculture involves simultaneous production of vegetables, fruits, poultry, small livestock and fish within one’s home.

We want to make sure that children eat six food groups a day. We are, therefore, promoting integrated homestead agriculture to ensure that all the types of food are readily available in homes, he said.

Mfune said the initiative will promote nutritious food intake among lactating mothers and adolescents, besides promoting food security at household level.

The programme focuses on lactating mothers, pregnant women, adolescent girls and children under five who are prone to malnutrition, he said.

UNICEF Malawi Nutrition Specialist Owen Nkhoma said malnutrition among children under five prevents them from growing up to their full potential.

We want to educate people to produce foods which can provide much needed nutrients, Nkhoma said.

M’mbelwa District Council Senior Nutrition, HIV AND Aids Officer Frank Mfune said cases of stunting in Mzimba are high beating the national prevalence rate of 37 percent.

Afikepo nutrition programme is being implemented in three Traditional Authorities of Kampingo Sibande, Mzikubola and Chindi in the district with funding from European Union.

Source: MANA Online