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Experts discuss food security as spillover effects of Climate Change filter through the region

Prof. Emeka Akaezuwa, Vice Chancellor, IUEA.

Prof. Emeka Akaezuwa, Vice Chancellor, IUEA.

KAMPALA —Experts from regional countries came together at the Climate Change and Food Security Symposium and Expo to exchange ideas on how to stabilize good supply, calling for regional cooperation to ensure food security.

Jointly hosted by the Climate Change Action East Africa (CCAE) and the International University of East Africa, the three-day Symposium focused on the impact of climate change, food security and food systems—putting a major emphasis on strategies to safeguard communities in Uganda and the region from hunger.

Themed: “Linking Climate Change To Food Security, Nutrition And Wellbeing”
the symposium also addressed around aflatoxin management among other areas.

Experts agreed on the great importance of promoting good production especially bearing in mind the challenging regional and international situation.

“Agricultural production in Uganda has evolved from the hand hoe to the use of oxen and later, the use of diesel-generated tractors. Oxen produce a lot of methane gasses while tractors produce a lot of carbondioxide which is among the greenhouse gasses causing climate change. Uganda indeed has very good policies and laws on the environment that would help combat the current rate of environmental degradation. However, the enforcement of these policies and laws is chronically lacking,” said David Kabanda, the Executive Director Center for Food and Adequate Living Rights.

Mr. Kabanda called for more synergy between the central and local governments in implementing food security policies and strategies to enforce the laws and policies at all levels.

He added it was important to include the private sector in discussions around food production and security.

Dr Tom Okia Okurut, Executive Director of Climate Change Action East Africa

Dr Tom Okia Okurut, Executive Director of Climate Change Action East Africa

According to Dr. Tom Okia Okurut, Executive Director, CCAEA, food security is an important guarantee for regional peace and development

As one of the world’s most populous regions, East Africa and Africa should take effective measures to ensure food security, he added.

“We are on a mission to create an inclusive hunger-free East Africa region by the year 2050 through appropriate mitigation measures on climate change in the areas of food and nutrition security in East Africa,” Dr. Okurut said.

He added: “We consider the aspect of food security in the East Africa region of the uttermost concern that climate change can dis-equilibrate the entire EAC region.”

“Food insecurity linkages to climate change don’t emerge prominently; government planning for climate change impact interventions focuses on directly impacted aspects. Therefore there is a need to; increase climate change resilience and food security awareness in East Africa”

He said the annual rotational Food Security Symposia and Expo seeks to promote awareness of climate change impacts for consequential energization of countries to plan and budget for climate change impact and as well implement their national commitments.

Hon Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga: 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East Africa Community Affairs

Hon Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga: 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East Africa Community Affairs

The 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East Africa Community Affairs Rebecca Kadaga acknowledged the timeliness of the Climate Change and Food Security symposium and Expo.

“The East Africa Food Security Symposium and Expo pledged to interest the Cabinet to see how the government can support the innovations and actors involved so that we all contribute to a hungry-free Uganda”.

“I commend Climate Change Action East Africa on the one-acre outcome project model and IUEA on the research innovations – the electric tractor and electric motorcycle.”

“Promoting access to safe and nutritious food is not a one institution problem, it is about working together at local, regional, country and international level. There are a lot of ideas on what to do, the challenge is how to do it in a cost effective way. The key focus is on implementation, it is not just the content but also the processes,” Kadaga said.

Kadaga also commended the CCAEA for the insightful and well-informed papers that demonstrated a high level of expertise in climate change and food security.

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