Government mulls over Food Authority

What you need to know:

According to the World Health Organisation, an estimated 600 million people fall ill after eating contaminated food and 420,000 die every year.

KAMPALA.  The Agriculture Ministry is crafting recommendations that will guide the formation of a Food and Agriculture Authority in Uganda.  The Authority seeks to coordinate public institutions involved in food and feeds safety. 

During a consultative meeting recently, over a new legislation that will guide food safety, consultants noted that the Food and Agriculture Authority needs to belong under both the Health and Agriculture Ministries.

Speaking at the event, Mr Kedera Chagema, a coordinator of the Food and Feeds Law,  said  the  the Food and Feeds Law Bill will ensure that food is safely produced, distributed, processed, marketed and prepared for human consumption from the farm to consumption.

Mr Chagema said, “In Kenya, we came up with the Food and Feeds Bill which now brings together the requirement of both food and feed safety.”

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), an estimated 600 million people fall ill after eating contaminated food and 420,000 die every year.

Foodborne diseases impede socioeconomic development by straining health care systems and harming national economies, tourism and trade.

This assertion that the Health Ministry should be involved did not sit well with some people in the room who mostly belonged to the agricultural ministry who looked tense.

However, Mr Bright Rwamirama, the State Minister for Animal Industry asserted that they need to work on the issue of doing away with silos in the country’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

“The issue of creating silos is what we have to overcome. This needs a tough decision,”Mr Rwamirama said.

Mr Rwamira said the other issue they have to work on is  competency profiling.

 Food-borne illnesses cost low- and middle-income countries $100 billion in lost productivity and medical expenses according to Food and Agriculture Organisation.