Notes to broadcasters
The establishment of a cereal bank is one possible response to the quest for food security. It involves a sharing of resources and is one way for people to help one another in times of need. A cereal bank is a community-based institution run by a village or a group of villages. It can function in several different ways, depending on the requirements of the community. Generally, the bank stores grain and supplies it to people at times when it is most needed. In recent years cereal banks have become popular in the Sahel – with varying results.
One type of cereal bank is a funeral maize bank. In this scheme each household contributes a certain amount of maize to the maize bank every year. The contributing households can then receive maize from the bank if and when they have a funeral. Households that have not contributed to the bank are not eligible to make withdrawals, which is a drawback to this scheme. For more information please see the resources at the end of this script.
The following script describes a traditional practice from Zimbabwe called “zunde ramambo.” It is a communal method of growing and storing grain for use when food supplies are low. Traditional knowledge and customs offer useful and creative ways of solving some of the problems that result from illness and labour shortages resulting from HIV and AIDS.
People from the village work the plot together, growing grain and other crops. After the crops are harvested, they are stored in a special granary under the care of the traditional leader in the village.
The stored grains are distributed to orphans, elderly people, disabled and sick people…and others who are in need. The chief supervises the distribution process. The tradition of ‘zunde ramambo’ is a good way to provide food for those who cannot provide for themselves.MUSIC (5 seconds).
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- Adapted from Developing Countries Farm Radio Network, Package 62, number 7, Communities revive a traditional method of storing grain in times of need, by Vijay Cuddeford.
- Conversations with Chief Mangwende, President, Chief’s Council, Parliament of Zimbabwe, PO Box CY 298, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe.
- Conversations with Julia Tagwireyi, Coordinator, Interim Secretariat, Food and Nutrition Council, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, PO BOX 7705, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe.
- “Community-based food banks – a Malawi village response.“ Impact of HIV/AIDS on Agricultural Productivity and Rural Livelihoods in the Central Region of Malawi. CARE Malawi, 2002.
- Chinowaita, Margaret. “Zimbabwe: Elderly people suffering in silence.” The Zimbabwe Standard. February 6, 2000.
- Mutangadura, Gladys. “The smallholder agricultural sector’s response to HIV/AIDS.” Sexual Health Exchange. No. 2000-3, 2000.