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Zimbabwe: a growing number of farmers is reverting to indigenous seeds

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  • Zimbabwe: a growing number of farmers is reverting to indigenous seeds

People, not production chains. Farms, not factories. From the ice expanses of northern Sweden to the depths of the Amazon rainforest, the following stories speak of men, women and families who supply 70% of the world’s food. They challenge the myth that we need industrial agriculture to feed an increasing population…

When Benedict Muzenda and his neighbors were children, they finished school exams in October so they could go home to spend their summers weeding the fields and preparing them for the harvest in January.

It now rains less, the fields are becoming more and more arid and the harvest is often delayed. The annual drought in this part of southern Zimbabwe means farmers are looking for new ways to produce food and finding solutions in proven methods from the past.

The Muonde Trust, in the Mazvihwa region, is a growing movement of African farmers who are trying to bring their indigenous seeds back into use. These seeds offer much greater resilience to climate change. Crops such as sorghum and cluster millet that populated these valleys long before corn was introduced are best suited to withstand long periods without water. They are also adapted to local soil conditions in the dry valleys of Zimbabwe.

As the local elders explain, these are the cereals blessed by the “spirits of the earth” and able to feed the local community much better than the industrial hybrid seeds that have dominated the African landscape in the past 40 years.

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We appreciate and respect your personal data and privacy. By submitting this form, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms. We remind you that we use our Newsletter simply to offer an extra service to our readers, we will never give your address to third parties for any reason.Read our Privacy Policy.