The Transformative Potential of Finger Millet

This article draws heavily on a paper by the African Research Institute: “Grain Revolution: finger millet and livelihood transformation in rural Zimbabwe”. “I want every farmer in Gutu to embody a social entrepreneurial mentality. Innovation is about doing things differently. It does not mean doing away with traditional practices or culture; rather it is … Read more

African Rice Makes a Come-Back

From enjoying the status of a widely cultivated staple food to becoming a marginalized peasant crop, African rice is now undergoing a revival in Zimbabwe, thanks to research conducted by local scientists and a renewed interest in traditional foods by Zimbabwean consumers. The History of African rice African rice (Oryza glaberrima), which shares an ancestor … Read more

Mushrooms Farmed by Termites Make Tasty Summer Treats

Termitomyces are a remarkable group of mushrooms which have been able to survive for 30 million years by forging an intimate relationship with termites. In fact the mushrooms are unable to grow without the help of the termites which actively cultivate them. The termites collect and plant the seed-like fungal spores on comb-like structures in … Read more

Amaranth Grain Proves Popular in Gluten Free Diets

The plant is already well known in Zimbabwe amongst traditional food fans. Locally called Mowa, Bonongwe or Imbuya, depending on where you are in the country, Amaranthus spp. are regarded as edible weeds whose leaves can be harvested when garden vegetables are scarce. Further north, in Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique amaranth is cultivated and eaten widely … Read more

Experts Say Traditional Diet is Better for you

FOR the past 7 years, Faresi Nyamadzawo, 68, of Harare has jabbed herself with a shot of insulin twice everyday, or more than 5,100 times, just so she may live. Without it, the grandmother of 7 may go into shock–and that has happened a couple of times–pushing her to the brink of death. She cannot … Read more

Wild Food Collectors Counter Climate Change

Activities such as bee-keeping and harvesting mushrooms and wild fruits are becoming an increasingly important contribution to food security and incomes for poor rural folk. Because of climate change, agriculture, which supports two thirds of Zimbabwe’s 13 million people, has come under severe pressure, forcing many families to turn to the collection of wild foods … Read more

Granny Inspired Me

Ruramiso Mashumba, is a young farmer who means business. She has combined her formal academic training with traditional wisdom from her grandmother to establish a successful African Rice enterprise. How it all started Ruramiso developed a passion for farming while studying at Watershed College which is adjacent to her parent’s farm. After doing a diploma … Read more

The Boschvelds are Back in Town

Many decades ago, Mike Bosch, a cattle farmer from Gweru, came up with a novel way to deal with ticks. He developed a special breed of chicken whose job was to free range around the cattle watering holes and eat ticks in the manner of wild egrets. The chickens had to survive extreme temperatures and … Read more

Binga’s Rubies Make Farmers Smile

Mr. Mudenga is a farmer in Binga District, whose life has been changed by what he calls the ‘Rubies of Binga’. Binga is one of the driest and most disadvantaged places in Zimbabwe. The road network and general infrastructure are very poor, leading to its isolation and largely contributing to the overall poverty of the … Read more