CSOs call for the review of the existing Food and Nutrition Policy

Published By UNNGOF |  October 22, 2014

On 16th October 2014, Uganda joined the rest of the world to commemorate the World Food Day. 2014 was declared by the UN as the year of Family Farming and the year of Agriculture in the African Union. Although global hunger has reduced, about 805 million people are estimated to be chronically hungry. The National Development Plan indicates that 17 million Ugandans are still trapped in hunger.

Uganda National NGO Forum in partnership with Food Rights Alliance with the Support of Southern Africa Trust organized a CSO reflection meeting on 13th October 2014 to undertake an audit of the Food and Nutrition Policy 2003. The meeting held in Kampala attracted over 40 participants comprising of CSO leaders, representatives from relevant Ministries, Development Partners and the media fraternity among others.

Mr. Boaz Musiimenta-Policy Analyst Office of the Prime Minister stated that the government is in the process of drafting a new Food and Nutrition Policy in a bid to scale up nutrition levels in Uganda and will focus on nutrition specifically since food aspects are already covered by other sectors. This will replace the existing Food and Nutrition plan (UNAP) which expires in 2016.

Ms. Agnes Chandia Baku-Nutrition Unit Ministry of Health expressed her disappointment with the Office of the Prime Minister for totally disregarding the current Food and Nutrition Policy in a bid to draft a new one.

“As a Nutrition Unit in Ministry of Health, we carry out Nutrition activities to which we feed the Office of Prime Minister with and as such they are the technical personnel on food and nutrition,” she emphasized.

“As a unit, we are doing a lot in the area of nutrition such as training and deploying Nutritionists at district heath centres, imploring food processors and manufactures of Maize, wheat and edible oil to supplement them with Vitamin A, introduction of Nutrition programs and interventions such as baby friendly health facilities for the babies and their mothers at every health centre,” she added.

Mr. Stephen Biribonwa, Senior Agriculture Officer in charge of Nutrition, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries said as a ministry, they are not aware of any process of the development of the new food and nutrition policy and they are the technical persons who would be in the know therefore the existing Food and Nutrition policy is operational. He added that the plicy needs review to make sure it is in consonance with the nutritional values and priorities.

He further stated, “As a ministry, we have embarked on projects such as incorporating Vitamin A in Bananas, Cassava and rice. We therefore urge CSOs to inform the Office of the Prime Minister of what is happening in the area of Food of Nutrition.”

CSO representatives unanimously agreed that the Food and Nutrition Policy should not be discarded but rather reviewed and as such, they will take this process forward with the relevant authorities and partners. To see Media Statement, click press statement