In order to develop products from indigenous resources and create new markets for them, it is important to empower women, farmers and relevant students with information which enables them to start thinking innovatively about food and food products. Business skills and scientific awareness as well as connections with food manufacturers can be of great help to these stakeholders.
In Madagascar, nearly half of children are malnourished. The main cause is the poor quality of the food they receive, notably in disadvantaged households (due to inadequate breastfeeding practices and complementary foods that are nutritionally very lacking). For 14 years, GRET, a French NGO, has been fighting early childhood malnutrition in Madagascar by educating mothers and distributing infant flours through the hotelin-jazakely restaurants for babies.
In the 21st century many women have really used their strength and capabilities to fill a much-needed gap in Business/Science. One of these remarkable women is Dr Nomusa Rhoda Dlamini. Dr Dlamini is a Principal Researcher in Food Sciences at CSIR Biosciences. She has extensive experience in the food and agro-processing sector and has participated in technology transfer and training. She has several publications in regional and international peer reviewed journals, and she has also presented at international conferences.
It is said, for good reason, that what we put in our mouth matters. Good nutrition prevents disease and therapeutically reverses and treats illness. Also, it contributes to a better quality of life and longevity. On the other hand, a deficit in micronutrients can lead to disease, overeating and unhealthy behaviour.
Policy makers have emphasised that the African continent needs Science, Technology and Innovation to contribute towards the transformation of its food, nutrition and health statuses and fats-track the continent's socio-economic development.