FAO in Uganda

Uganda’s President Museveni asks the United Nations to support Uganda’s Food Systems transformation agenda

His Excellency President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni address the Uganda National Food Systems Dialogue


The President of the Republic of Uganda, His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, has urged the United Nations to support Uganda’s journey towards transforming its agri-food systems. President Museveni said that with the right investment and partnerships, Uganda has the potential to become the centre of food production in the East African region.

The President was speaking at the National Food Systems Dialogue held on 19 August 2021 in Kampala. The dialogue, convened by the Office of the Prime Minister, was the culmination of five months of a consultative process that included 18 regional and special focus groups such as farmers, private sector, processors, transporters, civil society, academia, researchers and media. These dialogues and discussions therein will help to form Uganda’s position paper and commitment at the upcoming United Nations Food Systems Summit on 23 September 2021 in New York. The consultations also helped to identify some bottlenecks affecting the country’s food system and proposed innovative solutions for sustainable transformation of Uganda’s food systems.

President Museveni noted that although Uganda has made significant progress in food production, the country suffers a number of bottlenecks which limit exploitation of Uganda’s agricultural production potential.

“Irrigation is still a problem. There are two levels of irrigation, micro and macro irrigation. The UN System could help us with more equipment for micro irrigation or the mega irrigation,” he said.

The President named other bottlenecks, some of which the Government is addressing, as poor farming practices, limited access to quality seed, poor post-harvest handling, crop and animal pests and diseases, limited access to markets to absorb domestic over production, bad road infrastructure, limited value addition of agriculture produce, limited use of organic and inorganic fertilizers and environmental degradation.

During the dialogue, Honourable Bright Rwamirama- State Minister for Animal Industry in the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) presented a number of issues emanating from the countrywide dialogues. Key concerns included the need to promote agro-industrialization as an engine for transformation of food systems, enhancing access to rural electricity and renewable energy, strengthening domestic and regional food markets and trade and scaling up social protection programmes and services to reduce inequalities in access to food.

 In light of the myriad of emerging issues, Honourable Rwamirama noted:

“We need to create more synergies with other players to ensure that the transformation is a shared reality. Food systems transformation will not happen in isolation of key enablers and levers”.

These synergies include with the power/energy sector, education to promote agri-business education and skilling to bring more innovations and research, financing to improve access to credit for farmers, social protection to promote early warning and safety nets for farmers and health to improve consumer awareness and demand for our food products and community mobilization.

The national food systems dialogue was attended by Ministers in the Government of Uganda, heads of UN agencies, farmers’ representatives, youth leaders, Members of Parliament, researchers and planners.

Susan Namondo, the UN Resident Coordinator in Uganda, commended the Government of the Republic of Uganda for according necessary attention, energy and interest in the implementation of its national Food Systems dialogues at country level.

“There have been many conversations, engaging thousands of Ugandans to discuss the national food system. These many conversations have led to us being here today. The presence of His Excellency the President, the Right Honourable Prime Minister, the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and so many key Ministers shows the importance of the subject matter to the Government of Uganda and bodes well for the team work that will be required to accelerate the transformation of the current food system into one that will ensure access to safe and nutritious food for all people in Uganda; provide many more needed jobs, especially for Ugandan youth and women and support nature positive production, while building resilience to climate shocks”, she said.

She pledged the support of the entire UN family in Uganda to support the new commitments and plans emerging from these food system discussions.


About the UN Food Systems Summit

The UN Food Systems Summit was announced by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, on World Food Day last October as a part of the Decade of Action for delivery on the SDGs by 2030. The aim of the Summit is to deliver progress on all 17 of the SDGs through a food systems approach, leveraging the interconnectedness of food systems to global challenges such as hunger, climate change, poverty and inequality. 

“Food system” refers to activities in producing, processing, transporting and consuming food. Food systems touch every aspect of human existence. The health of our food systems affects the health of our bodies, as well as the health of our environment, our economies and our cultures. When they function well, food systems have the power to bring us together as families, communities and nations, which makes them valuable instruments of change.

However, too many of the world’s food systems are fragile, unexamined and vulnerable to collapse, as millions of people around the globe have experienced first-hand during the COVID-19 crisis. When our food systems fail, the resulting disorder threatens our education, health and economy, as well as human rights, peace and security.


The Summit is anchored on five Action Tracks that offer stakeholders from a wide range of backgrounds a space to share and learn, with a view to fostering new actions and partnerships and amplifying existing initiatives. The five Action Tracks are (i) Ensuring access to safe and nutritious food for all; (ii) Shifting to sustainable consumption patterns; (iii) Boosting nature positive production systems; (iv) Advancing equitable livelihoods and (v) Building resilience to shocks and stressors to the food systems.

The Global Sustainable Development Report (2019) identified Food Systems transformation as one of the key accelerators to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG). Therefore, as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, we have a critical opportunity to tackle the weaknesses that were exposed by the crisis and to build back better.