The senior economist was backed by Pasta classy Nuwagaba an official from EAGC who pointed out that food balance sheet gives a comprehensive picture of the country's food supply and utilization during a specified period.
A senior economist at the ministry of agriculture has urged government to have food balance sheet so as to know the availability of food in handling food shortage/hunger in times of crisis and what is available for exports.
Annuciata Hakuza pointed out that the country used to have Produce Marketing board which was responsible of taking stock of food available in food reserves but it is no more.
"Other countries have strategic food reserves for example Kenya but for us it is not there," Hakuza said. Hakuza who was speaking during the food balance sheet meeting explained that it is important for government to have food balance sheet because it helps to give information on food stock availability, tradable, surplus and deficit.
The food balance sheet meeting took place at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala and was organized by Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC).
It attracted participants from the ministries of agriculture, trade, Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), private sector among others. The senior economist was backed by Pasta classy Nuwagaba an official from EAGC who pointed out that food balance sheet gives a comprehensive picture of the country's food supply and utilization during a specified period.
"It's a reflective of the food security picture at a given time," Nuwagaba said.
Food security is a situation that exists when all people at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient safe nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and health life (World summit 1996).
Food security includes food availability, food access, food utilization and food stability.
Hakuza noted that to balance the above there is need for regional trade to allow inflow of food to areas of crisis and production short fall.
Nuwagaba advocated for regional food balance sheet in order to know what food is available for exports and consumption in times of crisis.
He enumerated main grains, cereals and pulses traded in the Eastern Africa region as maize, wheat, sorghum, millet, finger millets, soya beans, beans, rice sesame, cowpeas, barley and pigeon peas among others.
However, participants observed that there is need to revise the definition of food security which was adopted in 1996.
"It high time the definition of food security is revised. Otherwise, we can never achieve food security may be we need to have a certain percentage as a measure," Robison Rufafa an official from the ministry of agriculture