GEORGINE OBWANA: “Food Security is very, very important, it’s a shame when people do not have food”

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OPED– Uganda is sanctified not only by the surplus of food produced but also by having a leader whose providence in regards to food security and hunger is consummate. 

A special thank you to Your Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Tibuhaburwa for being spot-on in your address in the just concluded virtual Pre-UN Food System Summit (UNFSS) hosted by Malawian President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera attended by some African leaders.

“The issue of food security is very, very important. Man was able to stabilize his life more than ten thousand years ago when he learnt how to domesticate animals and domesticate crops. That is how people were able to have a stable life. It is a shame to hear that even today some people in the world do not have food. This is not acceptable”.  

I want to categorically agree with His Excellency on his statement.  With the UNFSS three months away and the Pre-summit slated for 26th -28th July, food security which consequently involves food systems should be one of governments’ priorities in the current COVID-19 pandemic as well as post pandemic. 

This is because, apart from nutritional concerns, food security is associated with augmented capacity for countries to develop their agricultural markets, economies and job creation, long-term health, women’s empowerment among other positive outcomes.

As citizens of the globe, we have a task to ensure our food systems, which is the sum of actors and interactions along the food value chain right from production, transportation, processing, retailing, wholesaling, preparation and disposal has a more holistic and sustainable approach. 

We can leverage the ongoing food systems summit dialogues like the independent ones or those organized by national governments to participate meaningfully and take part in determining transformation, discover jointly and come up resiliently for sustainable food systems. 

Just as some of African Heads of State including our very own President Museveni have set the agenda and made it clear that food systems are critical and crucial for the continent which is faced by increasing levels of poverty as well as food and nutrition insecurity, we can have a seat at the table of the summit and let the world hear all our voices on food systems so that the objectives of the summit can be achieved. 

This is a Decade of Actions as declared by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and its time we the citizenry of the globe take serious bold actions to transform the way the world produces and consumes food so that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are achieved by 2030.

In Uganda, the Civil Society Alliance for Nutrition Uganda (CISANU) is taking lead in organizing consultative dialogues for civil society organizations, the media and youths to generate priority issues for building a resilient and sustainable food system within the context of the UN Food Systems Summit.

Among other points, CISANU emphasises the issue of food sovereignty at all levels of the food system.CISANU is also promoting awareness and public sensitization on what food systems are. 

Premised on discussions with various stakeholders, it was apparent that there is little knowledge about food systems and nutrition hence the need to educate the masses on this crucial human transformation issue.  

By Georgine Obwana Program Officer – Civil Society Alliance for Nutrition Uganda (CISANU)Tel: +256 774 354150/ +256 795 228801 Watsup     Email: georginemarine@gmail.com