35 people have died in Mozambique’s northern Muecate district after reportedly eating meal prepared from wild plants and fruits.
According to authorities, twenty five of the victims come from the same family.
Officials in Mozambique say people eating wild fruits, tubers and even wild grass have been reported recently in the region.
The state television, TVM, reported that some residents have been grinding wild grass to cook a local meal called xima.
Xima is a traditional Mozambican porridge, usually made from maize flour.
There are reports of food shortages in parts of Mozambique blamed on low rainfall with only five of the province’s 23 districts experiencing normal rains.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, the term “wild” when applied to plants or plant species refers to those that grow spontaneously in self-maintaining populations in natural or semi-natural ecosystems and can exist independently of direct human action.
Hindawi, the Scientific World Journal reported that Mozambique is rich in wild fruit trees, most of which produce fleshy fruits commonly consumed in rural communities, especially during dry seasons.
The fruits and nuts are sold at informal markets during the harvest season and are consumed in various ways.
Many wild fruits and nuts are good sources of carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals that may be deficient in common diets.