Addressing Food Insecurity in Zambia by Planting the Drought-Tolerant Crop Quinoa

Short description

Attempt to end malnutrition with Quinoa.

Which problem do we aim to solve ? and why?

Over the years, countries in Southern Africa such as Zambia have dealt with irregular rain seasons and heavy droughts both of which influence the harvest severely. Zambia’s main staple, maize, is sensitive to drought and according to FEWS the maize supply is below-average followed by a rise in prices. Insufficient supply of the main staple among the population leads to food insecurity and hunger which in turn also increases malnutrition.
Reducing Zambia’s sensitivity to changing weather patterns and its influence on their harvest, will reduce the prevalence of food insecurity. If the supply of staple foods is once again balanced, it will not only result in a decline in hunger, it will also stabilize the market prices.

Our idea for a solution

By implementing quinoa into Zambian agriculture, we will not only address hunger as a result of poor harvests, we are also aiming to prevent malnutrition by incorporating the protein rich seed containing all essential amino acids as well as significant levels of iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus into the Zambian diet.
As long as communities have to deal with drought-stricken crops, they will always be at risk of suffering from hunger. By making use of quinoa’s resilience towards harsh conditions, we can lessen the impact of irregular rain and dry seasons on their crops.

Why is our solution an innovative idea and tackles the challenge from a new

Our idea is innovative because it tackles malnutrition from several aspects, and provides a sustainable long-term solution to the increasing problem with inconsistent rain seasons and droughts. The implementation of quinoa would make the Zambian population less dependent on maize and less vulnerable to food insecurity. Educating the communities of the high nutritional value of quinoa would help end the cycle of malnutrition.

How is our idea feasible?

Having researched the environmental requirements of quinoa and the existing agricultural conditions in Zambia, we see a huge potential in implementing quinoa seeds into Zambian cultivation. Quinoa has been proven to be less sensitive than conventional staple crops when it comes to recurring droughts. Furthermore, quinoa contains high quantities of micronutrients and will therefore also prevent deficiencies and malnutrition.

Which methods and channels do we want to utilise?

Through local partners and the Zambian Agricultural Research Institute, we would inform communities about the potential of Quinoa at a stakeholders meeting. The local partners would know whom to address and help us in educating farmers and families on how to sow and harvest the seed as well incorporating it into their diet. Furthermore, they would help us convince the communities about the capacity of quinoa and its nutritious content.

What’s our expected outcome and improvement?

Our expected outcome would at first be a sign of interest in quinoa and its qualities among the attendees at our stakeholders meeting. Then, the results of implementation would potentially show a significant yield during the following harvest. As a long-term solution, quinoa could potentially supplement and reduce people’s dependency on maize. In addition to that, it would help to decrease malnutrition. Planting quinoa would be a sustainable strategy against the impact of droughts.

What's our budget and which partners we would expect to be valuable

What we need is cooperation from the communities and local partners. A low budget to organize the stakeholders meeting, to provide transportation for participants and financing a certain amount of seeds is estimated at €9000. Valuable partners are Seed Co Limited for providing seeds, ZARI, local NGOs and INGOs with experience like DCA.

Addressing Food Insecurity in Zambia by Planting the Drought-Tolerant Crop Quinoa

Team: Catharina Klein and Carolin Klier

Dieser Artikel ist nur in englischer Sprache verfügbar.

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