Food rights experts have condemned the lack of adequate government measures to tame food loss and waste saying this is detrimental not only to food security but also abets climate change.
They say if the government puts in place some measures to reduce food loss and waste like sensitizing citizens, it can help because many people do not know that food is wasted.
Executive director Food Rights Alliance, Agnes Kirabo explains that if a farmer in Uganda produces 10 kilograms of maize, that farmer is going to lose 1.2 Kilograms, which is close to one and a half kilograms on the farm.
According to her, Kampala alone daily, they collect 750 tons of garbage which is not any other thing but food. That if this food was spared, it would help many people who are suffering in the neighborhoods.
She further notes that for one single tomato to go to waste, that this tomato consumed three litres of water.
“When single orange is thrown in the dustbin, bear in mind that it consumed fifty (50) litres of water,” says Kirabo.
She appeals to Ugandans that as they are trying to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, they should ensure that the available food should be put in right use which will help to them to improve the immunity to fight the virus
“Take responsibility and personal actions as an individual. Consume responsibly and don’t serve a full plate of food which will be left to waste yet others are missing,” she appeals.
Speaking at Media center this afternoon, the Minister for Agriculture, Animal and Fisheries, Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja says that while Uganda joins other countries to commemorate the international day of awareness of food loss and waste which is 29th September, it is important to note that the government has put in place some measures to combat this challenge of food loss and waste.
“The government of Uganda has put in place enabling policy frameworks for food loss reduction and these include the constitution of republic of Uganda objective 12 (twelve) which compels the state to take appropriate steps to grow and store adequate food,vision 2040 which underscores the need to reduce food loss and wastage and improve food safety among others.”
He also says that food loss and waste is one of the biggest challenges, for growth of the agriculture sector because it threatens household incomes, food security and nutrition.
Minister Ssempijja gives an example that with 2.8m tons of maize produced in Uganda annually, it is estimated that 17.6 percent is lost, 214,000 tons of millet, 12.4 percent is lost, and 23000 tons of rice, 13.5 percent is lost among others.
Antonio Querido the country representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, says it is important that people understand that food loss and waste affects the economy of the country and individuals.
Antonio appeals to Ugandans to be plan full and put in good use of all the foods they produce.