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Foro Global sobre Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición • Foro FSN

Re: Call for experiences and effective policy approaches in addressing food security and nutrition in the context of changing rural-urban dynamics

World Farmers' Organisation (WFO-OMA)

Government of Uganda through Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Health

Main responsible entity
1- Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industries and Fisheries together with Ministry of Health
2- Uganda National Farmers’ Federation, UNFFE, on behalf of the World Farmers’ Organization, WFO (implementer)

From 2003

Funding source
Government of Uganda


The Uganda Food and Nutrition Policy has been formulated within the context of the overall national development policy objective of eradicating poverty as spelt out in the Poverty Eradiation Action Plan (PEAP), and is in consonance with other policies already formulated by government.
Some of the factors responsible for malnutrition, poor health, and reduced productivity, all of which compound poverty and its after effects have been documented. The guiding principles of the Uganda Food and Nutrition Policy (UFNP) include; adequate food is a human right; food is treated as a national strategic resource; the cross-cutting nature of issues of food and nutrition as they affect men, women and children; strategies for responding to food and nutrition concerns at all levels and; the needs of all vulnerable groups being integral to all components of the policy.

The overall objective of the policy is to promote the nutritional status of all the people of Uganda through multi-sectoral and co-coordinated interventions that focus on food security, improved nutrition and increased incomes. This policy had positive effects in addressing the overall issue of urbanization and rural transformation, which is changing the assets of food production in many areas of the world, including Africa. Achieving global food and nutrition security in fact, also requires an attention to the rural-urban transformation phenomenon, which is slowly changing the social and economic balance, in most countries. For instance, changing rural-urban dynamics create many challenges such as the ability to ensure adequate infrastructures, the rising demand for processed food, the need to adapt to changing value chains, the need to address increasing food loss and waste, and so on.

Specific objectives are;
i) to minimize post-harvest food losses;
ii) To increase shelf-life of food;
(iii) To establish, support and expand appropriate food industries in areas where food is produced;
(iv) To reduce the reliance on imported food products in the country;
(v) To promote and add value to primary agricultural produce for both local and export markets; (vi) To promote efficient and cost-effective technologies for the processing and preservation of foods and their by-products;
(vii) To promote the processing of weaning foods using locally-available foods; and
(viii) To improve and promote indigenous knowledge of food processing and preservation.
(ix) To promote food fortification with appropriate micronutrients.

Key characteristics of the experience/process
i)assessing the state of the food processing industry and preservation methods in the country; (ii) establishing a mechanism for information sharing amongst food industries run by different bodies;
(iii) improving the basic infrastructure and utilities for purposes of promoting agro based industries in different parts of the country;
(iv) strengthening human resource training in the areas of food processing and preservation for different stakeholders;
(v) promoting appropriate technology based on food processing research findings;
(vi) establishing integrated industrial linkages in the use of intermediate materials and by-products;
(vii) documenting, promoting and improving indigenous food processing techniques and their use at the household level;
(viii) promoting local processing and production of edible oils using locally-produced raw materials, such as palm oil, cottonseed and sunflower;
(ix) creating avenues for accessing credit for the promotion of agro-industries; and Uganda Food and Nutrition Policy, 2003
(x) promoting fortification of selected foods

Key actors involved and their role
The policy has a multi-sectoral dimension and, therefore, its implementation shall be undertaken in a multi-sectoral way. For this reason, there is a need for a co-coordinating body at the national level. This body shall be the “Uganda Food and Nutrition Council” (UFNC), which is established as a legal entity. The UFNC is linked with the relevant multi-sectoral committees dealing with food and nutrition at the local government level.

Composition of the UFNC
The Council shall consist of fourteen (14) members as follows:
a) The Chairperson having a distinguished personality and experience who shall be appointed by the Minister responsible for agriculture.
(b) Thirteen (13) members of the Council representing concerned ministries and institutions, and the private sector, as follows:
Ministry responsible for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries;
Ministry responsible for Health; Ministry responsible for Gender, Labour and Social Development;
Ministry responsible for Planning, Finance and Economic Development;
Ministry responsible for Education and Sports;
Ministry responsible for Trade, Tourism and Industry,
Ministry responsible for Local Government; Makerere University (to represent institutions of higher learning); Uganda National Bureau of Standards;
Representative of Civil Society;
The Farmers’ Representative;
Representative from the Private Sector; and
Director of the PMA Secretariat.

4.3 Functions of the UFNC
4.3.1 Promote food and nutrition security at all levels;
4.3.2 Develop national plans, programs and projects that shall promote food and nutrition security in Uganda;
4.3.3 Develop an effective and efficient mechanism for monitoring the implementation of the Food and Nutrition Policy;
4.3.4 Provide guidelines for planning, implementing and evaluating the Uganda Food and Nutrition Policy, 2003 Uganda Food and Nutrition Action Plan;
4.3.5 Co-ordinate and work in close collaboration with all persons, institutions, sectors and organizations involved in food and nutrition activities;
4.3.6 Promote and make the population aware of food and nutrition issues;
4.3.7 Promote research on food and nutrition;
4.3.8 Mobilise resources for food and nutrition interventions in the country;
4.3.9 Serve as an advisory body to the Government on issues relating to food and nutrition; and 4.3.10 Carry out such other functions as the Minister may assign to it, from

Key changes observed with regards to food security and nutrition and sustainable agriculture and food systems
-The integration of nutrition component in the food value.
- The considerations of climate change impact and how it affect the food and nutrition security through the best practice of smart agriculture.
- The promotion of school feeding program by parents and some school administration in order to address both food and nutrition security.
– Several ordinances and bye laws passed by local governances.

Challenges faced
a) Inadequate funding for policy implementation
b) Poor Coordination between the different players

Lessons/Key messages
The availability of nutritious food in a nation is its pride and strength. Food security and nutrition need to be addressed with a multi-sectoral and holistic approach, especially when analyzed in the context of changing rural-urban dynamics. The urban population of Uganda has increased in the last decade and is expected to increase even more in the upcoming years, but this does not mean necessarily economic growth and poverty reduction. Similarly, rural transformation can have positive impacts because it encourages access to services and infrastructures and it reduces the cultural, social and economic gaps with the urban areas. However, those changes need to happen in a sustainable and inclusive way, otherwise the risk is the creation of new pockets of poverty both in urban and rural areas. For instance, though food insecurity, malnutrition and poverty are concentrated in rural areas, they also affect urban and peri-urban areas.