RWA Zimbabwe: National Good Food and Seed Festival Event

Rural Women’s Assembly (RWA) Zimbabwe participated at national good food and seed festival event from the 29th and 30th of September. The event is held annually and this year a total of 16 rural women farmers participated. The festival is a special event where farmers come to exhibit, sell, exchange tradition seed and traditional cooked food. National Good Food Festival has given farmers from across the ten provinces of Zimbabwe the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas and knowledge.
This year’s event was running under the theme “Celebrating the wonders of Zimbabwean millets.” The festival was focusing on millets and had chosen Tsoboda as its special millet crop. Tsoboda is a very interesting traditional grain which was once forgotten but revived in Masvingo Province. Tsoboda is easier to harvest and grind than other millets. Birds, Pests, and diseases rarely attack it both on the field and in the storeroom. RWA Zimbabwe was excited to be having Tsoboda Maheu (traditional beverage made from the special millet crop), Tsoboda seed and Tsoboda mealie-meal and people were coming in numbers to buy. Tsoboda is a short, seasoned variety which takes three months to ripen. Traditional grains perform well during drought and have many health advantages and the Svoboda millet is known for being rich in iron.
This year RWA Zimbabwe had three stalls one was for Seed displays, second was for value- added products and the third one was selling traditional cooked food and beverages.

The festival is only event in Zimbabwe that brings smallholder farmers together with consumers to interact, receive direct market feedback and learn and exchange information all in celebration of healthy, sustainable produced local food. Festival provides a platform for farmers to exchange traditional knowledge and seeds.
The first day was the official opening and seed day. RWA women participated and had an opportunity to join other farmer dialogues to share their experiences. The second day was open market day for displaying and exhibiting seeds, and products as well as selling. The event also created a space for seed swapping, farmers had an opportunity to get new varieties of traditional seeds, especially those that are at the verge of extinction. During the festival RWA also took the opportunity to popularise UNDROP. The UNDROP recognises the dignity of the world’s rural populations, their contributions to global food production, and the special relationship they have to land, water and nature. Below is picture which shows RWA members displaying some articles of UNDROP.

The National Good Food Festival gave farmers the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas and knowledge. Farmers had the opportunity to interact with consumers, received direct market feedback about their products. The feedback they got will help them to improve their products, especially packaging and labelling. Appropriate technology for small-scale, agroecological farming were displayed, which included solar dryers, and grinding mills, and again this gave RWA farmers exposure to new, ecologically sound ways of farming equipment and value addition skills of their produce.

Leave a Reply