By Abdul Naico and Jose Ricardo
On July 6, 2017CIP participated in the first National Root and Tuber Crops fair organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in collaboration with the Ministries of Tourism and Industry of Mozambique. The event took place in Quissico, Zavala district, in the Southern province of Inhambane. Twenty two newly released varieties were displayed at the fair. According to the local authorities, more than 30,000 people visited the fair.
The event was opened by the President of Mozambique, Mr. Filipe Nyusi, who emphasized to the participants on the critical role that roots and tubers make in the fight against food insecurity, and malnutrition. He reminded the about the importance of these crops, particularly OFSP, in reducing the level of vitamin A deficiency.
Before the opening of the ceremony, the president and distinguished guests toured the stands. OFSP was displayed by all 11 booths representing the provinces of Mozambique. The work of CIP was visible in the booths of the Mozambique National Agrarian Research Institute (IIAM), where the focus of the display was on the work conducted under crop breeding and development of seed systems.Under the nutrition segment, CIP’s work was represented by the National Secretariat for Food and Nutrition Security (SETSAN).
In all single and common stands, even those focused on the traditional medicine, one or more OFSP products, particularly juice was present. Even the booth of the Mozambique Institute of Traditional Medicine had some sweetpotato related products.
Apart from marketing strategies using orange clothes, processed and nutrition messaging, the event was well covered by mass media. Reporters from the major magazines and newspapers interviewed CIP partners, including National and provincial Directors of Agriculture. All decked out in colorful orange t-shirts, these partners stood out as the champions of OFSP in Mozambique.
The event was well attended by critical stakeholders, including the provincial Extension and Agriculture Services, and the local farmers (DVMs) who displayed the products and technologies developed and promoted by CIP. Most of these farmers were using and have adopted some tools and marketing strategies developed by CIP to display their products.
The event was a great opportunity to display the OFSP related technologies, but at the same time, a credible occasion to capture some of the “hidden” impacts CIP programs and projects have been making throughout the country. Simply said, the event was “Orange” due to the Orange branding associated with the OFSP and the work that has been conducted in Mozambique. As most the dignitaries revealed, the foundations of the nutrition work in Mozambique, particularly related with agriculture-nutrition approaches is heavily influenced by CIP’s activities in Mozambique. CIP was represented by the OFDA, VISTA, SUSTAIN, and Niassa Irish Aid projects.