Uganda government and PELUM find common ground on pathways to zero-hunger

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Uganda and activists in the agroecology space are converging towards a more collaborative approach to the […]

Uganda and activists in the agroecology space are converging towards a more collaborative approach to the search for a sustainable and equitable food system; this as the government seeks national consensus over responses to the perils posed by climate change, and its impacts on livelihoods.

This was revealed earlier today, during the launch of the 5th edition of the National Agroecology week that will run from October 23 to 27. The annual event is organized by Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM) Uganda, a network of 71 agricultural NGOs operating in over 122 districts of Uganda. Among other activities, PELUM advocates for land and food rights, with an accent on indigenous food and seed systems.

Officials spoke about multiple points of engagement, which had resulted into a jointly developed National Agroecology Strategy, through which the government will adopt and integrate agroecology as one of the options for achieving the objectives of the national food security strategy.

Lauding PELUM for its advocacy, Sir George Bob, a senior agriculture officer and agroecology focal person in Uganda’s Ministry of Agriculture Animal industry and Fisheries, said it was a major “milestone that we now have a draft National Agroecology policy.”

Josephine Akia Luyimbazi, the country coordinator at PELUM Uganda said, they had covered significant milestones in their collaboration with the government system and the organization had now become a soundboard for several policy initiatives under development by different government departments.

“It is no small achievement to come to a point where you are consulted and your views are taken into consideration by the government, whenever it is developing policies and programs that touch on areas where you have expertise,” Ms Luyimbazi said.

Working in concert with the ministries of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries; Trade Industry and Cooperatives, PELUM launched the National Agroecology Week of Action (AWA) 2023 that will run under three thematic events. Major events include the 5th National Agroecology Actors’ Symposium (NAAS) that will be held on October 24 under the theme ” Accelerating A Just, Inclusive and Resilient Food System Through Agroecology. “

That will be followed by the 2nd Agroecological Market Systems Expo (AMASE) that will be staged on October 25, under the theme Advancing Agroecological Entrepreneurship and Synergies for Sustainable Market Development.”

The week will then conclude with the 13th Annual Indigenous and Traditional Food and Seed Fair that will run over the course of two days from October 26th –27th under the theme “Nurturing healthy, nutritious and resilient food systems for all’’.

Luyimbazi says the back-to-back events will provide platforms for participation of different actors within the Agriculture and Agroecology spaces.

“Our mandate and core business as the National Agroecology Actors together with the government, is not only to scale up but also to scale out and scale deep agroecology in Uganda by addressing the concerns of Agroecological Production and Market Systems; Institutional and Policy frameworks; and positive mindset and behavioral adjustments through ensuring availability of adequate supportive atmosphere,” Luyimbazi added.

Luyimbazi further explained that scaling up of Agroecology in Uganda will be pivotal to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), most especially SDG 2 on Zero Hunger that requires a transition towards more sustainable food systems with more socio-economic benefits and with less environmental consequences.

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