This year Zimbabwe is participating in the international food expo currently being held in Milan, Italy, which runs until October. Zimbabwe’s 125m2 stand is devoted to exhibiting cereals and tubers, how they are grown and used traditionally as well as modern production and processing methods.

The overall Expo Milan 2015 theme is “Feeding the Planet; Energy for Life” while Zimbabwe’s stand is titled “Food Security, Sustainable Development: A Healthy Zimbabwe”. Our exhibit has been designed by an inter-ministerial National Coordinating Committee led by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

Cluster Agriculture Development Services (CADS), a local NGO devoted to supporting farmer organizations, has been prominent in the co-ordinating committee as well as providing products grown by smallholder farmers which will be exhibited on the stand. CADS worked with a team of local researchers and chefs to develop a booklet on a range of underutilized foods and a recipe book entitled: Past and future Food from Zimbabwe which “celebrates some resilient, nutritious, traditional Zimbabwean foods which are undergoing a revival as ingredients in a new, healthy cuisine which has international appeal”.

It is hoped that Zimbabwe’s participation in the Expo will provide an important opportunity to increase global exposure to some of our locally produced traditional food products with a view to forging international markets for smallholder farmers. Amongst the products being exhibited are baobab, sweet potatoes, yams, brown rice, millet, sorghum and amaranth grain.

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Anna Brazier
Anna Brazier is the editor of Naturally Zimbabwean. She was born in Zambia but has lived most of her life in Zimbabwe. She has a BSc in Ecology and an MSc in Sustainable Development and works as a consultant promoting sustainable agriculture, nutrition, traditional foods and community resilience in Africa and beyond. She lives in Harare with her husband and three children.