Grain Revolution Finger Millet and Livelihood Transformation in Rural Zimbabwe
According to numerous studies, finger millet was proved to be very nutritious; it also contains high levels of calcium, carbohydrates, iron and amino acids. This narrative is about much more than just switching from one crop to another. For Chidara, the root cause of poverty in Zimbabwe is food insecurity. Rural households that are dependent on maize production regularly experience shortages of food due to erratic weather conditions and limited access to agricultural inputs. It is this reality that cripples innovation and investment, whereas if households have a stable supply of food their capacity to transform their livelihoods increases dramatically. Rather than looking to science and technology for solutions, Chidara has found inspiration from within his community. Chidara’s passion for traditional crops and knowledge is not based on nostalgia, harking back to the ‘good old days’. After all, he is a management consultant based in Harare who has spent most of his career working for large multi-national companies. It is partly through these experiences, however, that Chidara believes he has understood why so many Western approaches to business have failed to take hold in Africa – a structural failure to recognise and incorporate traditional knowledge and culture.