Chieftainess Mphashya Royal Establishment Chairperson, Charles Chibulo was among the stakeholders who participated in the farmer dialogue held in Rufunsa district.
Mr. Chibulo says that culture has so much to do with what is grown by the communities and hence the need to be preserved by promoting farmer led seed systems.
“We have lost our culture of farming groundnuts and millet and have now adopted new crops, this has mainly been caused by the appetite for money, wanting to make more at the cost of our soils, until we begin to get satisfied with what we have we will not be able to manage our soils and environment sustainably,” He said.
He further said that local crops do not have a life span like hybrids which would always require to be bought every year citing an example of bambara nuts which he said they are able to be recycled each farming season.
“What our forefathers left, 200-300 years ago is the same seed we are planting even now. Let's go back to our roots, these things just compromise our culture, our forefathers would grow their millet, bambara nut, cowpea and maize without the use of fertilizer, to this date, any crop left by our forefathers does not need to be boosted for it to grow. We can grow these groundnuts as many times as we can, “He added.
He further added that It had become difficult for them to host traditional ceremonies and begin to talk about GMO foods which have nothing to do with their community's culture. “And am afraid this has come about because we rolled our culture and am afraid our culture will cease to exist because of copying western culture.
We can't go to Chibwela Mushi (a thanks giving ceremony for a good harvest by the Lala speaking people) with irish potatoes. Do we go with potatoes? why won't we carry potatoes? it's because they are foreign and are not part of our traditional foods,” Mr. Chibulo said.
Mr. Chibulo went on to say that it pains him to see a clip in the media discouraging the consumption of wild fruits. “When you pick these stories, you say our people are suffering in Rufunsa, you say they are eating wild fruits. It's what we eat! we eat Nsense, we eat Usala, and you call this suffering? “He added