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Bringing Traditional Grains Back to the Dinner Table

The Making of East Africa’s Superfoods

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Download the Millet and Sorghum Appreciation Week brochure.

Download Brochure[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]

The Opportunity

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Traditional grains of millet and sorghum have been steadily losing their place in the African dinner table. The primary reason is the poor image as they are seen as food of the past and food for poor rural people.As people have “modernized” we have adopted more and more “Westernized diets” especially rice and wheat at the expense of traditional grains. Yet our traditional grains are more healthy than the foods replacing them. Not only do they have higher energy and protein content, but they are also richer in micro-nutrients key to healthy living. For instance sorghum is rich in anti-oxidants, which mayfight agingand cancer.

Traditional grains are also well suited to Uganda’s agro-ecological conditions as they are native to the country. They are also better adapted than most other crops to low rainfall and heat surviving areas with as little as 300 mm of rainfall (vs. 500-600 mm for maize) They can help us cope with combating climate change and address the challenge of food security. Bringing traditional grains back not only ensures our health now, but also securesourfuture health and wellness!

There is now a window of opportunity. Globally there is a growing demand for foods perceived as healthy or “superfoods”. And this movement has reached our borders. Our studies in the region indicate that traditional grains are perceived as healthy by consumers and this sentiment is stronger in middle class consumers. There is thus an opportunity to leverage this trend and develop premium high value traditional grains based food products targeted at consumers who are keen on living a healthy lifestyle. They are ready for our own homegrown Superfoods![/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Seizing The Opportunity

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To raise awareness of superfood qualities of sorghum and millet, ACET and its partner RAND Corporation have organized a series of traditional grains cooking competitions to showcase traditional grains versatility as modern foods able to meet the needs of the modern family. We aim to generate over 100 modern recipes to change the perception of sorghum and millet as food of the past and also use that competition as a platform to educate consumers on the superfood qualities of the traditional grains.

In the first competition held at the Golf Course Hotel on Dec 11, 2013 a total of 13 professional chefs participated. They came up with more than 40 different dishes from traditional grains (see attached brochure for a sampling). The event also had very good media coverage (newspapers, television, social media).

We are planning the second event on April 29, 2016. As part of the event we also want to have a millet week to raise awareness and educate people on our “superfoods”. We would like to have some of the innovative recipes created to be offered in restaurants. We are therefore looking for restaurants that would like to be part of this. Our idea is to have participating restaurant offer a different millet or sorghum based dish every day of the traditional grains week. We will build a media campaign around this to ensure participating restaurants get publicity. It will be an opportunity for restaurant to brand themselves as caring about the wellness of the customers and also the environment. (Traditional grains require little water and fertilizers and thus are good for the health of the earth.) We will have a team of social media experts who will publicize and market the restaurants and the menu through biogs, Facebook and twitter.
The “Traditional Grains Week” will be capped by 2” Cookery Contest to be held on 29’h April at Golf Course hotel where peoples’ choice restaurant award will be given and also other professional chefs to compete with their exclusive dishes. We wil I also encourage chefs from participating restaurants to enter the competition.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner content_placement=”middle”][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”6945″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

Download the Millet and Sorghum Appreciation Week brochure.

Download Brochure[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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