Uganda has been advised to engage other East African Community states, to ensure food security in the East African region.
In the past few months, Uganda among other countries in the region such as Kenya, have been hit with severe food scarcity.
However according to agricultural experts, the only way Uganda and neighbouring countries can deal with food insecurity, is to pool resources and deal with challenges such as climate change, which threaten food security.
“Food security, should be addressed as a regional issue, issues of food security, affect both Uganda and other countries in the region, it is so important that climate change doesn’t have boundaries,” Dr. Mary Mathenge, the director Tegemeo Agricultural institute Kenya said.
According to Mathenge, there is need for Uganda among other countries in the region to localize issues relating to climate change by coming up with a general policy to deal with drought, which is the main contributor to food insecurity.
She noted that no country can rely on its food without depending on other countries which may be food secure.
“We need to think about an agricultural policy to deal with food security. Kenya cannot feed itself alone, it needs other countries,” Mathenge said.
Mathenge made the remarks during a dinner for agricultural experts at Speke Resort Munyonyo, to find ways on how to deal with food insecurity in the region.
Dr. Elvis Fraser the senior program officer Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation advised the East African countries to invest a lot in research for solutions on how to deal with climate change among other factors affecting agriculture.
“You need to invest in long term future policy research, so as to guard against any challenges that threaten food production,” Fraser said.
Staple foods such as such as maize, wheat, rice, beans, millet, potatoes and cassava are the fastest growing set of commodities in agricultural trade in East and Southern Africa, with an estimated annual value of $50 billion and represent 75 percent of total agricultural products traded.