Mufhoho for the masses, finger millet for the rest of us

The Gaia Foundation recently featured a slideshow about the work of the Mupo Foundation. The slideshow is all about finger millet (Eleusine coracana) in Venda, a region of South Africa. Mupo says it:

[S]trengthens local communities in ecological governance by reviving indigenous seed, facilitating and encouraging intergenerational learning, and rebuilding confidence in the value of indigenous knowledge systems.

Cleaning seed, from The Mupo Foundation

That kind of language probably wows donors; I hope so. What it comes down to, though, is helping young people to learn from those who have not yet forgotten about crops that are better for them and their environment. Finger millet certainly fits the bill. The Mupo Foundation is gathering, storing and sharing finger millet diversity, promoting its nutritional value, and preserving rituals and traditions that depend on millet. It would be nice to think that they could be funded under a new call for proposals for research on Improving rural livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa: Sustainable and climate-smart intensification of agricultural production. Maybe even trialling some of the 5957 varieties that ICRISAT says it has in its genebank, to see whether any can deliver additional benefits under changing climate regimes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *