For two years the Zimbabwe Traditional and Organic Food Forum has held a food festival as part of contributing to efforts to improve what Zimbabweans eat. More and more people are recognising how the Zimbabwean diet has lost its diversity and is becoming impoverished.

Eating outside the box

That’s the theme of this year’s 3rd Traditional and Organic Food and Seed Festival to be held at the Harare Botanical Gardens on 17th October 2015.

The festival is a chance for food lovers, farmers and food producers from around Zimbabwe to gather in Harare and interact with retailers and consumers. It’s a chance to celebrate diverse foods from all over the country and to stay up to date with what is happening in this field.

This year’s highlights

As usual the festival will include exhibitors, a food court, a kids’ zone and entertainment. Exhibitors will be able to showcase their activities and sell fresh or processed produce. The food court stalls will be selling snacks as well as proper meals for lunch, featuring organic and traditional foods. We celebrate foods from other parts of Africa as well as Zimbabwe.

One of the bands at last year's festival
One of the bands at last year’s festival
Kids food zone 2014
Kids food zone 2014

New dimensions

This year we are adding the dimension of seed for the first time. Organisations working with farmers and farmers’ groups are invited to bring displays of seeds to be a part of this festival. The aim is to display the great diversity of seed (and thus food) that still exists amongst smallholder farmers from across Zimbabwe, to emphasize the link between seed diversity and nutrition, resilience to climate change, and sustainability. This will also give farmers from different parts of the country an opportunity to exchange seed.

Another new feature this year will be seed and food passes. These will enable visitors to sample some of the products on sale as well as to buy vouchers, which they can exchange for seed samples from the exhibitors.

If you would like more information please email: hararefoodfestival@gmail.com

See you at the festival

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Caroline Jacquet
Caroline Jacquet, though not indigenous to Zimbabwe, considers herself naturalised. She studied Forestry and Natural Resources Management in Leuven, Belgium and arrived in Zimbabwe in 2002, to work for the World Agroforestry Centre. She’s since worked for the Zimbabwe Adding Value to Sustainable Agriculture Produce (ZAVSAP) network and KAITE and is the Project Manager at Bio-Innovation Zimbabwe (BIZ) since 2013. BIZ researches mostly indigenous plants for their commercial potential. If she had to tag her work experience and interests, she’d say: plants, conservation, sustainable use, income-generation, value-addition, small-scale producers, local foods. She’s been organising yearly traditional food festivals since 2010, first with ZAVSAP and since 2013 with the Zimbabwe Traditional and Organic Food Forum. When not busy with natural (food) products, Caroline likes to read her Kindle in the sun and walk her dogs (and husband) in the Christon Bank hills.