As the world commemorates World Food Day on Saturday, farmers in Uganda are beating all odds occasioned by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to feed a hungry population.
After COVID-19 broke out in Uganda in March 2020, the pandemic has disrupted the agri-food systems, posing a threat to the country’s food security, experts said.
The country’s trade in agriculture inputs and produce was affected as public and private transport were closed due to lockdown measures.
Antonio Querido, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) representative in Uganda said although the pandemic has exposed the fragility of societies, it has also shown how people can come together towards a common goal.
“As a global community, we can overcome these challenging times and create a better future, one that is more sustainable for present and future generations,” Querido said, noting this year’s World Food Day commemorations focus on raising awareness of the need to support the transformation to more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems for better production, nutrition, environment, and a better life.
Bright Rwamirama, Uganda’s minister of state for animal industry said the transformation of agri-food systems is critical as the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Preserving access to safe and nutritious food is and will continue to be an essential part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly for the poor and vulnerable communities, which are hit hardest by the pandemic and resulting economic shocks,” the minister said.
As countries begin to develop and implement COVID-19 recovery plans, he said it is also an opportunity to build improved food systems that are resilient to shocks.
According to government figures, over 70 percent of the country’s population derive their livelihood from agriculture.