TOP
Monday,October 22,2018 14:56 PM

How Uganda can foster better food security

By Billy Rwothungeyo

Added 16th October 2017 05:13 PM

Food security is not only about producing a lot of food. The food has to be available, and accessible. Food security also means people who do not produce enough for themselves should have enough income to buy food.

Fao 703x422

Food security is not only about producing a lot of food. The food has to be available, and accessible. Food security also means people who do not produce enough for themselves should have enough income to buy food.

Today is World Food Day. Billy Rwothungeyo interviewed Alhaji M. Jallow, the Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations in Uganda about issue agriculture and food security.

Qn. As FAO, what kind of work do you do in Uganda?

We have developed a country programming framework, with which we are dealing with production and productivity in agriculture, forestry and fisheries and that entails the whole aspect of improving productivity, and looking at ways and means of making agriculture better.

The second element of the framework is the knowledge and information sharing. We deal with the pests, animal diseases, climate change, and refugees under this framework, which we have agreed upon with the government.

Within this context, we have been running projects, mainly on agriculture adaptation to climate change, one covered crops and animal health. We are also concentrating on a grant scheme which encourages people to develop private tree plantations.

Qn. How can Uganda as country foster better food security?

Food security is not only about producing a lot of food. The food has to be available, and accessible. Food security also means people who do not produce enough for themselves should have enough income to buy food.

That is why we are particular about productivity and having good yields. We are also looking at the context of rural development, which is providing an environment that can make agriculture production easier. To have good production, you need water, available arable land, fertilizers, inputs, tractors. Some people still use hoes; which is not very encouraging, we need to get off hoes and get more efficient systems of land preparation.

We have two seasons of rain, which are no longer reliable, so stakeholders need to start thinking about irrigation. We need more efficient systems of irrigation. We need to use more fertilisers and better storage systems to ensure quality of the produce.

A lot of these things are influenced by how much money you have, so this is where the credit facilities come in. Some banks do not understand agriculture; some fear it because of the risks involved. We are trying to encourage funding to agriculture through cooperatives.

Qn. How do we make agriculture more efficient?

In order to make agriculture more efficient, we have to invest in technology. We have to do agriculture as a business. In doing this, we have to manage finances and records better so we can be able to attract financial institutions to lend to you.

Credit is important to move from subsistence to commercial farming. We also need more farmers to form cooperatives so that they can easily access funds. The cooperatives act as a guarantor to make sure that the money. It is hard for banks to trust individual farmers who go to borrow.

Qn. What is your last word?

We have to encourage people to focus on agriculture as a business. We also need to have patience on the progress and introduction of new technologies. Now, we have improved varieties, new ways of tackling climate change, some of these interventions are slow but eventually, they will reach us.

 

Related Articles

More From The Author

Related articles