This year’s World Food Day (WFD) celebrations were held under the theme of “Leaving No One Behind.” Better Production, Better Nutrition, a Better Environment, and a Better Life were hosted at NARO’s National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI), Namulonge. The right honorable Robina Nabbanja, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda, who represented the President, was the chief guest. Hon. Robina Nabbanja started her remarks by acknowledging that this year’s event was being held at a time when the world is grappling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, shortages in global supply chains, very high inflation levels, and climate change challenges, all of which have an impact on food systems.
“In moments like these, it is more important to recognize the need to support our food heroes—the farmers, market vendors, transporters, and processors, among others, who support the food system and make sure that food makes its way from the farm to the plate.” She pledged that the government remains committed to developing production and production technologies to feed our people. She pledged the government’s continued support for sustainable farming systems that produce nutritious diets for all while protecting the capacity of future generations.
She reiterated the fact that it is an embarrassment for the country to have parts of Karamoja and Acholi facing hunger, yet as a country, we pride ourselves on being gifted by nature with fertile soils, good weather, and abundant water. “The food insecurity in parts of this country should make us pause and ask ourselves what we are not doing right and what we need to do better.”
The Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industries, and Fisheries (MAAIF), in his remarks, said the theme recognizes the need to develop resilient, inclusive, and sustainable agri-food systems, and this calls for action across the sector players so as to ensure that these systems deliver enough safe food for all while leaving no one behind.
Dr. Yona Baguma, the Deputy Director General (DDG) for Research Coordination, said in his remarks that the theme for WFD 2022 is in line with NARO’s aspirations to enhance total factor productivity and production, contribute to food and nutrition security, household incomes, and well-being, agro-industrialization, and sustainable inclusive economic growth in the country. He then further shared some of NARO’s achievements and contributions towards the above areas and also shared some of the challenges that the organization is facing: budget limitations, a lack of a comprehensive biotechnology and biosafety policy framework, and retention and motivation of human resources.