By Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa/Umoja Standard.
Kansanga, Kampala-Uganda: While addressing at The East African Food Security and Expo 2022 at the International University of East Africa (IUEA), Antonio Querido, Uganda’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Country Representative said that Uganda has the capacity of feeding all countries on the African continent because it is a food basket.
Antonio said, from inception, Uganda has been one of those handful countries on the African continent where food scarcity has been a myth and therefore there is need to have synergized efforts to return to the latter glory.
He stated that on the global scene, it is Uganda where the fight towards hunger free goal is possible.
“Uganda is endowed with natural resources, conducive weather, sufficient amounts of water which puts it in a position to successful make hunger problem a history”. He remarked.
“As FAO, we are ready to work with Uganda’s government on sharing ideas and support in action to wards getting sustainable solutions to climate change and food insecurity”. He added.
Uganda’s State Minister of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) Rtd. Maj. Fred Bwino Kyakulaga said that as government, they agree that climate change and food insecurity Is real and in this, they are aiming at restoring buffer areas like mountains by asking residents to vacate and plant trees that may reduce uncertainties like mudslides, erosion and others.
He added that they will also stop encroachers of wetlands for farming and those cutting down trees as a way of saving the environment hence reducing threats of climatic changes.
He lauded International University of East Africa for its outstanding innovations aimed at complementing climate action.
“I have seen a project of an electric tractor-an innovation by International University of East Africa. The beauty with this tractor is that it does not use fuel at all, you only charge then carry out your cultivation without polluting the environment. These are a kind of innovations we have come to witness at the Expo and inform our actions”. Minister Kyakulaga remarked.
On food security, Mr. Kyakulaga stated that the symposium will help government of Uganda to gather ideas from different stakeholders to complement its actions geared towards zero hunger amongst Uganda’s population.
Like other speakers and stakeholders at the event Prof. Emeka Akaezuwa, the Vice Chancellor of the International University of East Africa said that climate situation is changing at a faster rate which is a direct threat to food security since it breaks food systems.
He called upon East Africa’s population to have synergized efforts to conserve the environment before the situation goes out of hand.
He mentioned that it has been a great honor for granting International University of East Africa an opportunity to host the first ever East African Food Security Symposium and Expo 2022 in Uganda as it has been a milestone to showcase University’s innovations geared towards complementing climate action.
“Our students have come up with many innovations like electric bikes, solar planter and the recent one being an electric tractor which is in the process of completion. This is how far students together with their lecturers have put together knowledge to come up with innovations that are climate action tailored”. Said Prof. Emeka.
A few months ago, Uganda experienced a shock in Karamoja Region and a few areas in Eastern Uganda where a number of people died of hunger and starvation under the fate of climate change that disabled food production.
And it is against this background that Climate Change Action East Africa (CCAEA), the organizers of The East African Food Security Symposium and Expo 2022 implored member states and all stakeholders to adopt actions and technologies that are adaptive to the current environmental situation.
The Expo has gathered stakeholders from all East African member states, Climate Change Activists, farmers, line Civil Society Organizations, Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Development partners and individual members of the population to deliberate on different topics related to climate change and food security in order to create awareness and come up with sustainable solutions.