The First Lady, Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa has challenged the nation to prioritise research on small grains to improve nutritional value at village level.

Small grains were the major point of discussion when Amai Mnangagwa visited the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Matopo.

The First Lady underscored the need to fund research in order to ensure food and nutrition issues that go along with empowerment are attained at village level.

“Food security is vital for development which is anchored on research and production. As an advocate for women empowerment, my office needs to understand the roadmap to implement successfully a positive outcome in producing a number of small grains which will empower small scale farmers and increase nutrition,” said Amai Mnangagwa.

There was concurrence among all experts that the country needs to start encouraging new eating habits and farming practices considering the realities of climate change and nutrition-linked diseases.

Matabeleland South Minister of State, Cde Abednico Ncube says the province which is in natural farming region 5 has little rainfall and farmers in the region must embrace small grains.

“Small grains are a necessity for this region. They must be promoted and their growth accelerated,” said Cde Ncube.

The programme was held under the theme: ‘Revamping Small Grains for Food, Nutrition and Income Security in Zimbabwe.’