The Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Sempijja has addressed the Press about Preserving Access to Safe and Nutritious Food as a response to COVID-19 Pandemic and Joint Agricultural Sector Annual Review for 2019/20.
Hon Ssempijja says Uganda will join the rest of the world to celebrate World Food Day on October 16, 2020 under the theme grow a variety of food to nourish a growing population and sustain the planet, together.
“As the World is grappling with the COVID-19 Global health crisis, it is important to reflect on things we truly cherish and our most basic needs,” he told media at Uganda Media Centre.
“These uncertain times have made many of us rekindle our appreciation for a thing that some take for granted and many go without: food.
Food is the essence of life and the bedrock of our cultures and communities.”
Preserving access to safe and nutritious food is and will continue to be an essential part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly for poor and vulnerable communities, who are hit hardest by the pandemic and resulting economic shocks.
In a moment like this, it is more important than ever to recognize the need to support our food heroes – farmers and workers throughout the food system – who are making sure that food makes its way from farm to fork even amid disruptions as unprecedented as the current COVID-19 crisis, he said.
In recent decades, Uganda has made significant progress in improving agricultural production and productivity.
“Although we now produce more than enough food to feed everyone, our food systems are out of balance.”
He said hunger, obesity, environmental degradation, loss of agro-biological diversity, food loss and waste and a lack of security for food chain workers are only some of the issues that underline this imbalance.
As countries begin to develop and implement COVID-19 recovery plans, it is an opportunity to adopt innovative solutions based on scientific evidence so that they can build back better and improve food systems, making them more resistant to shocks.