Traditional recipe book sparks interest

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

The first recipe book on preparing delicious dishes using traditional crops, which are cheaper than frozen or canned foods, was launched at the weekend.

The book hopes to encourage people, especially those in the rural areas, to use indigenous knowledge to fight poverty by growing vegetables and preparing traditional and nutritious dishes.

Launched at Empangeni, northern KwaZulu-Natal, by the MEC for Agriculture, Mtholephi Mthimkhulu, the book is in line with the concept of African renaissance, which encourages self-reliance and indigenous knowledge.

Mthimkhulu said the project's concept was based on the premise that rural households in poverty-stricken areas and those affected by HIV-Aids, could improve their lots with appropriate help.

People with access to land and natural resources reap the benefits of resources and consume natural products at unsustainable rates.

The book is the culmination of a traditional food promotion project cofunded by the Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs and the Flemish authorities in Belgium.

The project has been running since October 2003.

Department of Agriculture spokesman Mbulelo Baloyi said a traditional food competition was held during 2005.

The competition created awareness among departmental staff and the community. It also sparked interest in traditional foods in the province, resulting in many catering companies adding traditional dishes to their menus.