Communities in T/A Chimutu laud Harvest Plus for porridge initiative schools

People from Traditional Authority (TA) Chimutu in Lilongwe Rural East have expressed their appreciation for the impact of the Harvest Plus program, particularly its introduction of porridge initiatives in rural primary schools.

This approach, which involves cultivating orange maize rich in vitamin A for school feeding programs, is being credited with significantly improving food security and nutrition in the area.

During a recent field day organized by Harvest Plus, Richard Mandela, Chairperson of the School Management Committee at Mbununu Primary School, commended the program for its proactive efforts.

He emphasized how crucial it is in reducing dropout rates and absenteeism, especially during months of heightened hunger from January to March.

“We are delighted to have access to maize varieties that will help our students remain in school. We urge Harvest Plus to continue supporting us so that we can sustain this program,” Mandela stated.

Magret Sapuni, a member of the school’s mother group committee, echoed Mandela’s sentiments, emphasizing the importance of ongoing commitment from all stakeholders. She highlighted the pivotal role of feeding programs in the lives of students.

Madam Kum’bweza from the Lilongwe District Education Office underscored the program’s objective of reducing absenteeism in rural areas, specifically in the Balang’ombe zone.

She stressed the significance of events like field days in educating communities about the program’s benefits.

Cross section of the field visit at Mbununu Promary School

Harvest Plus ambassador, Madam Mahuwa, shed light on the broader implications of producing vitamin A-rich maize. Beyond addressing nutritional deficiencies, she pointed out that it could also contribute to better vision among students. Mahuwa emphasized the environmental advantages of orange maize, noting its similarity to conventional varieties while offering higher vitamin A content.

“The introduction of orange maize will not only improve students’ attendance but also enhance their nutritional intake, given its higher vitamin A content,” Mahuwa explained.

Mahuwa urged attendees to expand the cultivation of this hybrid crop beyond the school environment, emphasizing its potential impact on broader communities.

The ongoing efforts of the Harvest Plus program are anticipated to continue reshaping rural education and nutrition in Malawi, ensuring a brighter future for its children. In the Lilongwe rural east education district, the program targets 24 schools, including three schools from the Balang’ombe Zone.

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