Taurai on healthy food and communities
Opinion Piece | ADPP Angola Staff
Is the food we eat everyday doing justice to our bodies, our families, communities and the country at large?
I am Taurai Zvepasi, a Zimbabwean, aged 47, and I've been living and working in Angola for the past 6 years now. I grew up in a peasant family, and I love farming. I’ve been working with small scale farmers in Angola during all these years of my stay here.
I want to share my experiences and how I feel about something very close to my heart: it’s about the food we eat in our daily lives. Is the food we eat everyday doing justice to our bodies, our families, communities and the country at large? The response can be a YES and can be a NO. I want to dwell more on the last response, which I believe is where many fail.
Angola is a country with vast lands and doing agriculture is not a big problem. Growing our own food is the cheapest way of having food on our tables daily, healthy food. But this beautiful country does a lot of food importing, and much of the food stuffs in the shops are chemically produced and processed.
I know there is a sizeable population living in towns and cities and they depend on their pockets to have food on the table. But the big question is, “Is the food we buy healthy”? How is it being produced, who is producing it and how much does it cost for one to have it on the table? Prices may vary, but the impact on our health is huge. No doubt.
What we eat determines our health and as such, joining forces, in any possible way, to produce our own food we eat daily, will help prolong our lives in many ways. A healthy citizen brings brightness and hope for the development of a country.
Shunning all chemically produced and processed foods is the way to go. How?
All the people living in the towns and cities have access to land, in one way or the other. We have to use this land or support those who can use it so that we have access to the food we cherish, healthy food. By supporting a small scale farmer in the countryside by buying her naturally produced food, we are helping develop our country, economically empowering ourselves and doing justice to our health sector. We create employment for those in the countryside who are working on the small farms, thereby reducing the influx of people into cities and towns. This will minimize government’s costs in many aspects.
I am working with about 1 000 small scale farmers in the province of Kwanza Sul, in the municipality of Kibala-Catofe. They produce natural foods, maize, cassava, sweet and Irish potatoes, many vegetable varieties and animals. They supply with efficiency the local markets.
Dear friends, I have a passion for a healthy community. Below is my photo and photos of some of the small scale farmers I work with. Showing how they work in their fields, some of the produce they sell to the markets.