EATING 2 DEATH: Experts Demand For A Nutrition Policy To Address Food Safety

Kabarole is a food hub (PHOTO IIED)


KAMPALA Uganda [SHIFT MEDIA] There is urgent need to include the right to adequate food in the National Planning Development agenda, experts have advised.

The sentiments were echoed during the second National Conference on the Human Rights To Adequate Food in Uganda that opened at Makerere University  on Tuesday.

The theme for this conference last held 20 years ago is “Entrenching the Human Right to adequate food in Uganda system Transformation Agenda”.

The first conference was last held in 2003 in Jinja Nile Resort. Since then even the 2003 Nutrition policy has never been implemented. Agnes Kirabo, the Executive Director Food Rights Alliance Uganda (FRA) one of the organizers noted that the focus of the second National Conference is on positioning the human right to adequate food as a lever for harnessing inclusivity in food systems transformation agenda of Uganda.

FRA Executive Director Agnes Kirabo addressing the participants

Other conveners included Uganda Human Rights Commission, Kyambogo University, World Food Programme Uganda , the Norwegian Embassy in Uganda, Oslo University, Makerere University among others.


The minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries  (MAAIF) Hon Frank Tumwebaze in a speech read for him by the State Minister for Agriculture Hon Kyakulga Fred Bwino noted that government had put in place many mechanism to address food insecurity in the country. “But much as government has done much to address increased food production, more efforts are needed especially regarding scaling up of irrigation to manage the climate change challenges,” said Bwino. He urged the participants to use the two days conference to evaluate the gaps why hunger, and food insecurity in amidst us despite the many interventions  put in place by government.

State Minister for Agriculture Hon Bwino Fred Kyakulaga addressing the participants

The deputy Food and Agriculture Organisation  (FAO) Representative to Uganda H.E Priya Gujadhur described as pathetic the fact that East Africa has the highest number of people living in absolute hunger. “This conference is critically important to revitalize the conversation regarding the right to adequate Food,” she said.

Dr Peter Milton Rukundo, a Nutritionist at Kyambogo University said nutrition issues need serious attention. “We need to have the 2003 Nutrition policy implemented immediately, but after review. Many people are dying due to food related diseases.,” Said Rukundo.

Prof. Byaruhanga Rukooko, the main convener from Makerere University told the delegates and stakeholders drawn across Uganda through what has been achieved since the first national conference was held in 2003.

Panelist Pinch Holes on Nutrition Policy

Commissioner Alio Omara, a Human Rights Defender and former Commissioner Uganda Human Rights Commission noted that issues of food safety and quality need serious attention.

“What is not safe for humans shouldn’t be safe for animals, but how do we differiante these anomalies,” he mused.

Alex Bambona, the Assistant Commissioner MAAIF told the delegates that Uganda is one of the globally recognized nations with the best Nutrition Policy, though it’s not implemented.

Speaking about the consumer protection, Henry Kimera the Executive Director Consumer Trust (CONSENT) said many Ugandans don’t know their rights regarding safety to food. “Food that is not safe is dangerous. Most vegetables and fruits are eaten with plenty of chemicals coated on them,” he said. He said CONSENT is training vendors country wide to address safety issues, since what is not safe, it is not food.

Shift Media News

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