Nutritionist and food rights activists have advised that the proposed National Development Plan III should ensure that the agriculture industrialisation programme targets small holder farmers so as to address food security rather than benefiting rather than focusing on the big investors.
Dr Peter Rukundo, a nutritionist and researcher at Kyambogo University, said if the country is to take up agro industrialisation, it should be able to close the food gap and nutrition.
"NDIII has not been strong on nutrition sensitive agriculture and ensure that we produce both for the market and for our health," Dr Rukundo said.
He was on Friday speaking during a half day Public Forum on Making Food and Nutrition the Core of the Agro-industrialization Agenda; a critical examination of the draft National Development Plan III. The event was organised by the Food Rights Alliance, a coalition that brings together Civil Social Organisations working in the field of sustainable agriculture and food security in Uganda.
A 2017 report commissioned by a group of Civil Society organisations indicates that about 10.9 million Ugandans experienced acute food insecurity.
Ms Regina Kabasomi, the Food Governance Officer Food Rights Alliance, said that the rising cost of malnutrition to the country is concerning.
"Apart from the nutrition aspect we want to include in the plan, we are also looking at the human rights aspect," Ms Kabasomi said.
According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), despite the variety and quantity of foods that Uganda can produce, 53 per cent of children under five years are malnourished and hence anaemic, and 29 per cent of them are stunted or wasted.
As a result, the Finance, Planning and Economic Development minister, Mr Matia Kasaija, says Uganda is paying through the nose to treat effects of malnutrition, a condition that results from deficiency or oversupply of nutrients in the body.