Pinda encourages high veggies intake in fighting NCDs

TANZANIA: Former Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda has rooted for higher intake of fruits and vegetables in lowering the risks of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

Much as NCDs were associated with sedentary lifestyle, Mr Pinda observed that inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption could also exacerbate the risks.

“Let’s prioritise indigenous fruits to assure ourselves of healthier diets”, said the former PM on the sidelines of the World Vegetable Center 50th anniversary here recently.

According to Mr Pinda, fruit and vegetable consumption may reduce the risk of NCDs through the increased availability of various nutrients and their ability to modulate associated risk factors.

“Healthy diet helps to protect against malnutrition in all its forms, as well as NCDs, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer”, he said.

Mr Pinda equally emphasized the role of community development officers in promoting healthy diets in the country.
In the same vein, the former PM commended Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) for playing instrumental roles in fighting malnutrition.
In his rejoinder, World Vegetable Center Regional Director Dr Gabriel Rugalema informed the former Premier that the facility had invested heavily ia modern seedbank housed at the centre.

“It will serve as a place where seeds are stored to preserve genetic diversity for the future”, he said.

Sitting within the World Vegetable Centre, the facility has been constructed to the tune of 1.2bn/-($400,000).

The modern facility which also comprises of a seed preparation and testing room has a capacity of storing seeds for a period of 99 years and is expected to be up and running in February next year.

The World Vegetable Center conducts research, builds networks, and carries out training and promotion activities to raise awareness of the role of vegetables for improved health and global poverty alleviation.

With more than 65,152 accessions of 330 species from 155 countries, the World Vegetable Center genebank includes globally important vegetables such as tomato, onion, peppers and cabbage as well as more than 10,000 accessions of traditional vegetables.

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