The Executive Director, Economic Policy Research Centre, Dr. Sarah Ssewanyana has called for improvement on food and nutrition security by government to achieve Uganda’s development agenda.

“Uganda aspires to be a food basket in the region, and become a middle-income country in 2020, which may not make sense when your people (Ugandans) are dying of hunger,” she said.

Ssewanyana made the call on 29th March 2017 at parliament, while presenting preliminary findings of the Strategic Review of Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG2) in Uganda to members of the Parliamentary Forum on Food Security,

She noted that Uganda was not doing well in terms of global nutrition ranking where Uganda tiered 104/132 in stunting, 60/120 in wasting and 56/126 in overweight. Kenya’s rating for stunting and wasting stood at 76 and 50.

SDG Review

 The objectives of the strategic review among others include; analyzing the situation of food and nutrition security within the targets of SDG2, identifying opportunities and prioritizing actions required accelerating progress towards SDG2.

Guided by the global monitoring index for SDG2 the review proposes a number of localized indicators that Uganda needs to monitor over time. These include average caloric intake, Proportion of population unable to meet 75% recommended daily intake, dietary intake and persistence of undernourishment.

In Uganda an average person consumes just 1860 calories against the required 2200 calories per day per person. In addition, out of every 10 Ugandans, 4 have caloric deficiencies, Ssewanyana noted.

The review also warns that the absence of food storage at national level shows Uganda’s lack of preparedness to manage food emergencies.

MPs reactions on food and nutrition security

Isaac Mulindwa Ssozi, the Mp for Lugazi Municipality blamed some parents for abandoning their role in nutrition and food security matters. “In some remote districts such as Dokolo, parents believe that government will provide food yet this is impossible,” he said.

MP for Kumi Municipality Sylus Aogon warned that the looming food security problems could be disastrous for the country and that if business remains as usual, Uganda may not achieve SDG2.

Hon. Andrew Kaluya Kiiza, MP for Kigulu County South, Iganga District, raised need for constant supply of most consumed food for example maize, which has been ravaged by armyworms in some districts.

Hon Abala David MP Ngora dsitrict called for enactment of seed policies since oftentimes seeds distributed to farmers do not germinate. He also called for popularization of nutrition courses at universities and other institutions of higher learning. He observed that the outflow of food to neighboring countries could worsen given the regional integration efforts.