Growing nutrition orchards
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CTA. 2007. Growing nutrition orchards. Rural Radio Resource Pack 07/6. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
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Low energy gardens full of nutritious foods close to home
Growing nutrition orchards Cue: A diet rich in vitamins and minerals is important for everyone. But to someone suffering with an illness, particularly an illness such as HIV/AIDS, it?s even more important. A convenient, constant supply of a range of fresh fruits and vegetables will ensure nutritious meals that will boost the human body?s immune system and help to fight off other secondary infections. In many African countries, families and communities are being encouraged to plant special areas or orchards to supply a range of nutritious fruits and vegetables close to home. Blessings Muwalo Nq?umayo ? Chief Clinical Officer in the Malawian government ? wanted Excello Zidana to know just how productive these nutritious orchards can be. IN: ?This one is specifically?? OUT: ?suffering from HIV/AIDS.? DUR?N: 5?34? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: That was Blessings Muwalo Nq?umayo ending that report from Malawi. He says that nutrition orchards are multipurpose, cheap to maintain, and can even make some money. The interview comes from a resource pack produced by CTA. Transcript Nq?umayo This one is specifically called nutrition orchard with this name at the beginning nutrition because people affected with HIV/AIDS for example require fruits of this kind that are grown in the nutrition orchard. Zidana Nq?umayo can you explain what nutrition orchard is all about? Nq?umayo Nutrition orchard talks about a long term source of nutrition requirement for people affected with HIV/AIDS, it does not require a lot of labour and a lot of input. It is good for these people living with HIV/AIDS because they require vitamins, vitamins and minerals that is, to take care of their body because these are the elements that are required to fortify the body to fight against diseases that can take advantage of the HIV condition of this person. As people are infected with HIV/AIDS they do not need to do some laborious work because the HIV itself takes a lot of energy from the bodies of these people affected and as such raising a nutrition orchard is quite easy and they will rely on this nutrition orchard as a source of the varied required nutrients. Zidana People talk about nutrition orchard, how different is it from other types of orchards? Nq?umayo Ok nutrition orchard is quite different from these other local orchards in the sense that it is easy to come up with inputs that do not demand a lot of money and again these types of crops that are grown in this orchard are those that first multiply and do not take long to come up with the fruits and as such it is very different from these other orchards. For example a nutrition orchard can have a composition of fruit trees in the range of bananas, avocado pears, pigeonpeas, of course a pigeon is a pulse. They can also have oranges. Of course oranges might take some time to produce but with grafting we can have some oranges that can take a few years to multiply and bear fruit. Zidana What about pumpkins, are they also part of the nutrition orchard? Nq?umayo Of course a pumpkin also its there because it takes about three months to come up with a pumpkin and because of its fast multiplication rate and fast way of bearing fruit it is also part of the nutrition orchard. And again a pumpkin on its own besides acting as a fruit it has got a lot of purposes. It can be used in different ways. You can come up with a flour from the seeds and use them when cooking relish. The young pumpkins you can chop them into pieces when they are fresh, dry them and come up with another relish altogether that is commonly consumed. And these are also very, very nutritious because you get a lot of vitamins out of it which are also good for people suffering from HIV/AIDS. Zidana What are the requirements for raising this famous nutrition orchard that is saying without spending too much money? Nq?umayo Of course you do not need to spend a lot of money if any to raise a nutrition orchard. All you require is the seeds which can be got locally shared from friends like in the village setting. Friends can just give you the seeds and you plant. Another thing you will need is a piece of land that is close to a source of water if it is during dry season and this piece of land should be also closer to the household setting of these people suffering from HIV/AIDS. We do not necessarily need them to travel long distances to get to the orchard let alone to work on the orchard. They need to be near and the water source should be near so that they can easily water these orchards without spending a lot of energy to carry the water to the orchard. Zidana Who specifically takes care of the orchard in the family? Nq?umayo It is the responsibility of every family member to look after the orchard. Zidana Now how can one maximise production in the nutrition orchard to suffice the family that is affected and infected with HIV/AIDS? Nq?umayo The basic thing is one application of manure. The second thing is to plant the plants according to the proper specification as pertaining to distance from one planting station to the other. The other thing is to use proper seeds, high quality seeds, if possible use hybrid seeds so that you have maximum output out of it. You know in the orchard particularly when it is grown during dry season it can be also another source of food for animals so we need to place a fence surrounding that orchard, and people can use a ?live? fence. For example the Moringa Oleifera tree. This can be used and this tree is a multipurpose tree. All those things together if they are followed together with the proper pest control and pest management you have a lot of production out of this orchard, more than the family can use and excess can be sold and the family can have money to buy other basic requirements for people suffering from HIV/AIDS. End of track
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