Commitments to action
Ingredients for the Transformation of Uganda’s Food Systems for Better Nutrition and Health Outcomes
Office of the Prime Minister; Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries; National Planning Authority
The main objective is to provide analysis of Uganda’s food system situation based on existing evidence and feedback to identify bottlenecks, opportunities, lessons and provide game-changing solutions to the bottlenecks so as to transform Uganda’s food systems for sustainable development.
The rationale for the initiative
As Uganda transforms into a middle-income economy, agriculture remains to be a core engine to drive the desired transformation. Agrobiodiversity and a good climate in most parts of the country provide immense opportunities for food production, trade and markets development, industrial growth, and overall improvements in employment and livelihoods. Currently, the sector employs more than half of Uganda’s households and contributes more than 20% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Despite the economic disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, agriculture has been a cushioning sector and lifeblood of many households who have been put out of work due to the pandemic and containment measures like lockdowns that disrupt smooth trade and investment. However despite Uganda’s potential to grow enough food to feed its population and other markets in the region, continent, and world over, its food system is facing challenges on many fronts including smallholder dominated production, over-reliance on rain-fed agriculture, negative effects of climate change on productivity and livelihoods, poverty and income inequalities, fake and low quality of agro-inputs, inadequate access to core transport infrastructure, technology, and energy/power, low competitiveness of the agro-food sector due to limited value addition, and low-quality assurance capacity challenges across the value chains. These have perpetuated inequalities especially poverty, food insecurity, and undesirable levels of malnutrition; notably, stunting affects 29% of children under 5 years of age, while anaemia affects 53% of children and 32% of women of reproductive age. On the other hand, the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is accelerating. Already now, 33% of annual deaths are attributed to Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) especially heart diseases, cancer, Type 2 Diabetes, and Trauma. Therefore, it is very important to transform the Ugandan food systems to eliminate the pitfalls and provide better nutrition and health outcomes.
Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, Office of the Prime Minister; Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries; National Planning Authority