FAO pledges more support to Uganda
Posted Wednesday, March 13 2013 at 00:00
Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Dr Jose Graziano da Silva, paid a one-day visit to Uganda on March 8, in which he met government officials and representatives of the private sector, academia, farmers’ organisations, and civil society.
They discussed the status of Uganda’s agricultural sector, their respective contributions and the need for further assistance.
He also met with Vice President, Edward Sekandi, who represented the President.
Dr Graziano da Silva observed that although Uganda generally has food, the food security and nutrition situation continues to face challenges. These include unequal food distribution and pockets of food insecurity in areas like Karamoja.
Efforts, therefore, need to be made to ensure that nutritious food is well distributed and consumed in all parts of the country. He commended the efforts towards agricultural development and climate change mitigation but also pointed out that Uganda needs a major boost in agriculture to accelerate development.
“We will continue to support FAO member governments, including Uganda, in helping cooperatives and producer organisations to thrive, by developing adequate policies, legal frameworks, economic incentives, capacity building and forums for dialogue on policy making,” the FAO Director-General said at a press conference held after the meetings.
Being the International Women’s Day, Graziano da Silva observed that in spite of the major role played by women in producing food and feeding their families, little attention has been paid to the key role rural women play in ensuring a decent livelihood to their households.
Uganda has worked with FAO since 1981 to design and implement policies and programmes to eradicate hunger, malnutrition and poverty, develop farmer organisations, study storage capabilities, improve integrated water management systems and water harvesting.
To improve the performance of small-scale and commercial farmers, the reperesentatives of the different sectors agreed to start implementing the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security. This process, supported by FAO, would also involve civil society and the private sector.