Wednesday January 9 2013

Bid to promote slow food

By Johnson Mayamba

Many traditionally prepared foods like cassava, yams, sweet potatoes and vegetables are being affected by the convenience of fast food especially in the urban areas. Even the farmers are shifting from growing these to what the market demands as more people opt for what is easy to prepare and eat in shortest possible time. Many of these crops are under threat and could disappear altogether.

In a bid to protect them from disappearing, some researchers have embarked on the campaign to preserve and protect them. The effort is based on the principle of “slow food”, which is a direct counter balance to the fast-food culture. It means taking the time to know the food you eat is healthy - for you, for the people who produce it, and for the land.

Mukono Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MUZARDI) in conjunction with Central Uganda Convivium are training locals on how to grow and reap much from such crops.

“Most farmers who do it commercially are concentrating more on crops that are quick to mature and they are ignoring the foods like cassava, yams and sweet potatoes yet if given time, they can yield and benefit from them,” says Dr Peter Lusembo, the MUZARDI director. “We are encouraging and calling upon all farmers to grow such crops not only for their home consumption but also for selling to earn extra income.”