Ensuring food security whose role?


Joining the global movement to end hunger this year, a section of Ugandan lawmakers have asked first the journalists before them, to be a part of the solution to Hunger.

The legislators justified their request that was also going out to other leaders and the entire community saying when it comes to hunger, the only acceptable number is zero.

Some 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life and that means about one in nine people on earth.

The humanitarian body says that Uganda has significantly reduced its levels of hunger and poverty over the last two decades.

According to the World Food Program, Uganda has made significant strides in addressing the problem of hunger but there is an uphill task to address the humanitarian and development challenges especially in the Karamoja region and among refugees.

Overcoming this problem that still affects many Ugandans yet the country has been referred to the potential food basket for the region, the sure way is by increasing food production and better storage mechanisms.

Now in a bid to address hunger in some parts of the country, government has been challenged to revise its policy of leaving the Agriculture sector to be dominated and run by the private players.

The concern raised by Members of the Uganda Parliamentary forum on Food security, population and development comes days after the World Food Day that is marked on the 16th of October every year.  This day was commemorated under the theme social protection and Agriculture.

The parliamentarians say that it is high time that government directly gets involved in the Agricultural production to improve quality and volume of food production.

Kyadondo North MP Robert Kasule Ssebuya says that government should interest itself in areas like availability of irrigation technologies, food storage, seed multiplication and distribution in order to ensure better productivity and food security. Kasule noted that Agricultural Research institutions should be protected instead of leasing out the land to private investors.

Kakuuto County MP Matthias Kasamba says after year of giving priority to other areas in the National Budget, it is now time for the Agriculture Sector to give a lion’s share of the Budget.

Kasamba also the chairperson of the Uganda Parliamentary forum on Food security, population and development stresses that since the Road infrastructure is fixed and Power Production is almost completed, in the next financial year 2016-2017 a trillion shillings should be allocated to Agriculture.

One can only be optimistic that at the end of this political season in March 2016, the key decision makers will have to determine what to allocate to their voters who mainly derive their livelihood from Agriculture.