Gaggan Andand and Andoni Luis Aduriz meet rice and sunflower farmers in Tanzania

Farm  Africa

Farm Africa

Premium Supplier 21st May 2019

Gaggan Andand and Andoni Luis Aduriz meet rice and sunflower farmers in Tanzania

Gaggan Anand, chef at Gaggan, named as No 2 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, and Andoni Luis Aduriz, chef at Mugaritz in northern Spain, No 9 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, are just back from a visit to Tanzania’s Babati District, where they met rice and sunflower farmers and cooked a meal with local restaurateur Mama Zai.

The chefs are ambassadors for the Chefs for Change movement, which was spearheaded by the chefs in association with the NGOs Farm Africa and TechnoServe and the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards.

The movement aims to highlight the urgent need to invest in sustainable agriculture, which is crucial to the achievement of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a universal call to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

Gaggan and Andoni followed the full journey of rice from paddy fields to plate: helping out with threshing paddy in the fields, watching it being milled into rice, and finally working with Babati’s top-rated local chef, Zain Abu, also known as Mama Zai, to prepare a meal with two different rice dishes at her small bustling restaurant.

Andoni commented: “Zain Abu is a chef who serves food in her restaurant to tens of people every day. She handles herself with such a great skill that makes one look small. Today the menu was Ugali, Ndizi, Mchincha, Maharage and Majani. I’ve been able to help a bit and it seems my contribution wasn’t bad as we haven’t received any complaints.”

Gaggan and Andoni also met with sunflower growers and followed the onward journey of the sunflower seeds into a local mill, where they were pressed into sunflower oil. While the chefs were at the mill, a steady stream of customers arrived with their own empty containers to buy the various grades of oil on sale. The chefs met with a local farmer called Timothy, who is working with Farm Africa to pilot the use of a new breed of drought-tolerant sunflower. Andoni commented:

“Timothy leads the pilot plantation of sunflowers that substantially improve the quantity and quality of the harvest. Fats, sunflower oil in this case, believe it or not, is a central product in the diet of the Tanzanian population. To make these people self-sufficient in the production of this raw material is to advance food security.”

Learn more about the Chefs for Change movement at
Photos: Farm Africa / Eliza Powell