Zambian student wins Rome SDG competition
Published On May 23, 2019 » 2307 Views» By Times Reporter » Features
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Mwape Kapema Mubukwanu pointing to her award winning presentation.

Zambia Agri-Business Masters student at the Rome Business School in Rome has emerged winner in a competition on attaining the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) under the banner of the Future Food Institution (FFI).

Mwape Kapema Mubukwanu did a project proposal which has been jointly selected among three selected winners of the competition.

The award was presented by Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Emmanuela Del Re during the closing session of the just ended Exco 2019 in Rome, Italy.

The completion was held at from May 16 to 18, 2019.

The Exco, which was jointly orgainsed by FIERA ROMA and a cross section of organisations including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Rome Based United Nations (UN) Agencies, brought together people from various backgrounds and disciplines to address issues pertaining to the attainment of the United Nations Agenda 2030 with a certain degree of focus on Africa.

Mubukwanu whose project proposal focused on SDG number 2 which “seeks sustainable solutions to end hunger in all its forms by 2030 and to achieve food security”, seeks to improve child nutrition and maternal child health by using local foods.

Her project proposal was among several proposals that were solicited from the world over by FFI.

The proposals were meant to be a contribution towards the attainment of the SDG’s.

The winners of the competition are expected to be part of wider group offered scholarships in the FFI Summer School Climate Smart City in New York.

The other two winners were Italian and American nationals for SDG’s 4 and 1 respectively.


According to Mwape;s research, Nutritec Food Limited is a food business idea that she would like to pursue once she completes her Masters Programme.

She developed the idea owing to the poor nutritional levels in some parts of Zambia especially the rural areas.

“And since enrolling in the Agribusiness Management masters a number of statistics have come to light.

“For example, the prevalence rates of stunted growth are alarming, currently at 40 per cent which is higher than the WHO threshold,” Mwape says.

The following is her winning research presentation about a food product called Nutritec.

The following is her winning presentation:

Nutritec will have several food ranges that will cater for the young, the old, breastfeeding and expectant mothers and vegetarians eventually.

Our aim is to reduce mortality amongst children and improve their health through nutritious and affordable meals.

Our Logo has the number 5 as the product has five main ingredients: the range we will focus on for the purpose of this assignment is called NUTRIMIX.

This is an organic and nutritious product with the following ingredients: caterpillars also known as mopani worms – caterpillars are an excellent source of protein and other minerals.

A 3.5-ounce serving of the average caterpillar contains seven grammes of protein and about 13 milligrams of iron.

A serving of the mopane caterpillar supplies between 31 and 77 milligrams of iron, however, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The mopane caterpillar also supplies about one-fourth of the potassium you need each day, as well as 100 per cent of the copper you require.

Dried Anchovies known as Kapenta – Most nutritious as a dried food with numerous health properties that can even reduce prostate cancer occurrences.

Kapenta has a high calorie content of energy and protein.

Pumpkin seeds and leaves also known as Chibwabwa – this is a great vegetable and is in most house backyards. Easily grow as long as the pumpkin seeds have been discarded.

Chibwabwa induces lactation for mothers and is high source of iron and is responsible for treating anaemia. Magnesium, calcium and phosphorous are also abundant in this gem.

Ground nuts 

Peanut kernels are a good source of dietary protein; they compose fine quality amino acids that are essential for growth and development.

Peanuts are an excellent source of resveratrol, another polyphenolic antioxidant. Resveratrol has been found to have a protective function against cancers, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and viral/fungal infections.

Soya Beans

Soya beans have high levels of folic acid and iron.

It is also known as the gold that grows!

They have numerous health properties such as anti-cancer potential, boost digestion and heart health, relieve menopausal symptoms, prevent birth defects – to mention just a few.

The first are the mopani worms, the second is the Kapenta and the vegetables on the far right are the Chibwabwa.

The first picture is ground nuts, then soya beans and lastly pumpkin seeds.

All the ingredients will be dried and ground into a powder to have a ready to eat product.

For the drink, shake and porridge water or milk can be added according to one’s preference of the thickness or consistency.

The process of producing will also provide jobs as we will need farm labour in the fields to pick the ingredients.

There is also the drying process.

We hope to use solar drying especially in the rainy season otherwise we will sun dry in the hotter months.

Our aim in this regard is to respect SDG number 7 which states that we use efficient and clean energy. We will not charcoal dry at all in this way safe the tress and the environment.

We will need labour to grind the ingredients to a powder, packers, quality controllers, moisture analyst to enable a healthy shelf life.

Nitrimix will be made as a ready to eat meal and can be had as a shake or drink, as a porridge or as a condiment.

It can also be sprinkled on salads, ice-cream and even already cooked food.

Possible threats

This will be the first of its kind on the Zambian market and it will be locally produced.

The challenge will be to compete with imported brands like Cerelac which is with is a household name.

Our advantage will be on the price.

Since its locally produced, our cost will enable affordability.

In dealing with the mentality of thinking that “imported is better”, we will roll out a massive campaign and encourage local people and tell them its really their product as they will have the biggest input.

To boost disposable income, perhaps we can introduce loyalty programmes for the consumers.

To accomplish this initiative, we have had to rely on partners like ministries of Health, General Education (to provide meals for the under privileged), paediatric centres, maternity centres, village halls in rural areas, FAO,UNICEF and WFP.

Our primary goal is to ensure an affordable, accessible and healthy powder that anyone can have.

This project tackles SDG number 2 which fights hunger, and also number 3 which states that all are entitled to good health and well-being.

We plan to go further to help the local community by ensuring that all our ingredients are locally sourced so that we also provide income to the suppliers.

And in periods when there is a short fall, we will cultivate the ingredients on our six-hectare farm and thus provide employment for the local people.

SDG number 1 will be addressed as we are addressing poverty.

We will also make use of affordable and renewable energy by using only solar as our source of energy thus tackling SDG number 7.


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