Go to top of page

Primary tabs

The Good Cooks Episode Six: Mozambique with Paul West

Paul west enjoying one of his recipes under a tree with his two chefs

In the sixth and final episode of ‘The Good Cooks’, Aussie chef, Paul West, goes to Mozambique to learn how ACIAR is helping improve irrigation and to learn how to cook like a local.

With a long civil war behind it, Mozambique is now growing fast. However, it remains one of the least developed countries in the world: seventh from the bottom on the World Human Development Index with over half its population living on or below the poverty line.

Effective Irrigation is vital for food security and would help local farmers grow a wider range of crops both more efficiently and all year around. But, for various reasons, previous irrigation schemes had failed. 

mozambique_gc_32.jpg

Paul West grinding up some corn for the corn porridge with cassava leaves recipe
Paul West grinding up some corn for the corn porridge with cassava leaves recipe

So ACIAR brought together teams of scientists to work with local experts to develop better systems and introduce soil moisture meters that show local farmers when they should, and shouldn't irrigate.

aciar_mozambique_1854.jpg

Paul West seeing the chameleon soil moisture meter in use with ACIAR Project Coordinator, Wilson de Sousa
Paul West seeing the chameleon soil moisture meter in use with ACIAR Project Coordinator, Wilson de Sousa

In this episode of ‘The Good Cooks’ Aussie chef, Paul West, visits a farming cooperative on the outskirts of Mozambique’s capital, Maputo, to see how both the crops and the projects are growing. He also meets some of the locals learns how to cook like a local, including Mozambique’s extraordinary seafood.

Paul West
Paul West is a passionate advocate of real food, community, regional living and sustainable agriculture. Paul was the host of four series of A River Cottage Australia which followed his journey to grow an abundance of farm-fresh food and then cook and share it with his local community. Paul can be seen on A River Cottage, currently showing on SBS and SBS On Demand. 

Paul regularly hosts cooking demonstrations at food festivals around Australia and can be seen as a guest presenter on Gardening Australia, Back Roads and Catalyst. He is a passionate supporter of many charities, including National Parks and Wildlife Foundation, OZ Harvest, Earth Hour, REAP, NEST and Cure Cancer. 

Paul is trained as a chef and has worked in all areas of food production, from WWOOFing (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) around Australia, growing fruit and vegetables, to cooking in the bistro of Melbourne’s renowned Vue de Monde—where Paul served his apprenticeship as a chef and met his wife, Alicia. 

With thanks to the community of 25 Setembro, Maputo, Mozambique, National Institute of Irrigation, Mozambique, Penevy Services,Australian National University, and CSIRO.

For more information of the ACIAR research project visit:Transforming smallholder irrigation into profitable and self-sustaining systems in southern Africa