World Food Day: Government to support large-scale food production, reserves in Karamoja

World Food Day: Government to support large-scale food production, reserves in Karamoja
(L-R) Minister of State for Agricture Hon Bwino Fred, (3rd L)3rd Prime Mnister Rt. Hon Rukia Nakadama, FAO Country Director Antonion Querido and Robert Kasule head of Delivery Unit, Office of the Prime Minister during the WFD Dialogue

Uganda will join the rest of the world to mark World Food Day which falls on 16th of October every year. This year Government through the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) together with FAO Uganda, WFP Uganda and other MDAs and Nonstate actors will commemorate the day held at Namulonge Research Institute in Wakiso to take stock of the steps taken by Gov Uganda to address the issues surrounding food security, climate change among others.

During the World Food Day dialogue head of World Food Day held at the Office of the Prime Minister, the Minister of State for Agriculture Hon. Bwino Kyakulaga Fred said that the ministry in collaboration with agencies like NARO, United Nations Development Programme and the South Africa High Commission in Uganda supports the food project of large scale crop production in the Karamoja sub-region to reverse the hunger that has affected the sub-region.

“We shall support them also to mobilize the surrounding communities to produce similar crops. We are doing this to create a sustainable food system in Karamoja so that we can end the hunger situation” he said

The Minister said that though this Year’s Day is being marked with multiple global challenges including the ongoing COVID-19, Ebola pandemics; regional conflicts; extreme weather conditions, government has come up with a strategy of giving out seeds of fast-growing crops.

"The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries is working to ensure that Uganda is not only Food secure but also Animal feed secure and nutrition secure. We have come up with a strategy to distribute seed of fast-growing. Crops that can grow within 50 days. Two weeks ago, I sent trucks of these seeds to Karamoja and these were distributed to all districts” he said

The Rt. Hon. Nakadama Rukia Isanga, above, 3rd Deputy Prime Minister/Minister without Portfolio while giving her remarks said that the government of Uganda through the Parish Development model is aiming at delivering inclusive economic growth starting from the lowest administrative units focusing on the 7 pillars framework of the model.

“The new policy direction brought in by the PDM framework is to move away from the system of the Government led free input mass distribution to a farmer-run and owned system of SACCOs based at Parish level with inbuilt credit to create a revolving fund. Under the Parish Development Model Framework, the Government through the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries working with other sector players will provide guidance on enterprise selection," she said

The Country Director FAO, Antonio Querido in above picture, said that while focusing on scaling up food production, there is a need to invest in transformational food systems that is inclusive of the issue of environment and transform the agricultural input system.

“We cannot continue to produce food while destroying the environment. It's not sustainable! We must invest in transformative agricultural food systems through the use of good seed plus fertilizer, mechanizing agriculture, Investing in Value Addition, research, and technology” he said

The Executive Director, Food Right Alliance, Agnes Kirabo pictured above, while giving her remarks said that there is  need to make conscious strategic decisions at the policy level to address the issue of food systems without mixing it with other issues by various actors to examine the policy, legal and institutional architecture on food.

‘Streamline the policy, legal and institutional infrastructure to define the level of support needed for better production, nutrition, environment and dignity” she said

Uganda is one of 193 countries that embraced the 2030 agenda for sustainable Development and 17 sustainable Development Goals.  These countries are working towards ending hunger by focusing on food and nutrition security.