Bioversity International video selected by international science film festival

The short film features communities living in the Barotse Floodplain, Zambia, who are participating in a project coordinated by Bioversity International to improve nutrition using diverse and locally available foods.

Local communities and field scientists from the Barotse Floodplain, Zambia, are the protagonists of ’Cooking together in Zambia’, a short film produced by Bioversity International that has been selected by the Pariscience Film Festival. The event, which will be held from 6-15 October 2016 at the Museum of Natural History in Paris, crosses science with cinema to shed light on the evolution of the various scientific disciplines and their impact on society.

The Barotse Floodplain is the second largest wetland in Zambia. It is home to approximately 250,000 people, mainly subsistence farmers, who depend on the floodplain for their food and livelihoods, adopting migratory farming approaches due to annual flooding of the Zambezi River.

Much of the population live below the poverty line. Malnutrition is widespread, especially affecting children under 5 years of age. Climate change, reduced crop yields, livestock disease and the diminishing supply of fish are aggravating the condition of these communities.

Bioversity International and partners have been working on a 3-year initiative as part of the activities of the CGIAR research programs Aquatic Agricultural Systems and Agriculture for Nutrition and Health, to look at food availability across different seasons and find locally and culturally acceptable food resources to improve diets.

“With this film, we wanted to give voice to local communities and capture what the project meant to their lives,” says Ewa Hermanowicz who produced the video. “In the film, you will see cooking group participants sharing stories of how cooking together, exchanging recipes and developing cookbooks and seasonal food calendars allowed them to prepare more nutritious family meals using locally available seasonal ingredients.”

“I am happy that our film was selected by the Pariscience Festival. It is a recognition of a storytelling filmmaking approach featuring local communities and research that combines scientific and traditional knowledge,” concludes Hermanowicz.

To find out more about our work in the Barotse Floodplain, read the blog post ‘Healthy diets from sustainable food systems all year round – a case study captured on film in Zambia’.