These are plants that have evolved in and adapted to our climatic conditions. They grow naturally without inputs: no seeds, no pesticides or fertiliser. Anyone can harvest them and no special equipment is needed. They are therefore perfect for low-income, small-scale producers.
They also add important diversity to rural people’s livelihoods, food baskets and income sources. Creating different income opportunities spreads the risk and strengthens the resilience of rural people, especially in the face of changing climatic conditions.
Just as importantly, these are plants where Zimbabwean producers have a natural advantage over other producers internationally, because we’re growing them in their native environment. We can only ever be bit part players in the global soya bean industry, for example. But we could be the lead actors when it comes to nyimo beans.