Mrs. Mervis Litwayi (first from left showcasing oranges from the tree she planted with support from
National Food and Nutrition Commission of Zambia
and Ministry of Agriculture) of Kakoma ward in Mwinilunga District aged 36-year-old is a mother of five children. She tells her story of how she has benefited from the Household Citrus Production initiative under the First 1000 Most Critical Days programme:
“In 2015, the Ministry of Agriculture taught us about the nutritional value of citrus plants and how to manage them at household level. In 2016, I received an orange seedling and planted it near my house for easy accessibility. I am very delighted to have harvested eight buckets of oranges within a period of two years, five buckets for home consumption and the other three for sale. The plant has really changed my life in that my children are able to consume the fruits which are good for health and the income generated from the sales is used to pay for their school fees”.
Mrs Litwayi is one of the 127 beneficiaries targeted under the Household Citrus Production initiative in Kakoma ward. The initiative aims to demonstrate that household citrus production can increase micronutrient (e.g vitamins) accessibility among pregnant and breastfeeding mothers living in the most remote places of Zambia.
In 2016, the Ministry of Agriculture under the Scaling Up Nutrition Fund Support empowered the targeted population in Mwinilunga with 1000 varieties of citrus seedlings (Oranges, bananas, Lemons, guavas and pawpaw) across the 6 chiefdoms as one way of promoting food diversification in increasing micronutrient accessibility in the district. The Ministry of agriculture targeted beneficiaries who received initial training in citrus production in 2015.
Kakoma Ward in particular received a total number of 127 citrus plants (60 Orange Seedlings, 34 Banana suckers and 33 Guava Plants).