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SNV Uganda calls for focus on food security as UN celebrates 75 years

 

Variety of food in a Ugandan market. Sustainable production is a key concern of SNV.

 

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | SNV Uganda has urged United Nations members to rethink how they produce food to face the challenge of over 690 million people in the world today facing hunger and starvation.

In remarks to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations, SNV Uganda Country Director Phomolo Maphosa said that while the need for more food is unquestionable, her organization believes that new ideas on food production methods should lead the way in addressing the projected food deficit.

“We need to rethink how we produce our food.  As recognised in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, there is a need for the sustainable intensification of more efficient agricultural production systems to protect and enhance the natural resource base while increasing productivity. Development must go beyond agriculture by involving rural and urban areas and supporting job creation and income diversification,” she said.

Nearly 690 million people in the world today face hunger and starvation, up 10 million since 2019. FAO estimates that the COVID-19 pandemic could add approximately 83-132 million people to this number this year.

SNV activities focus on three strategic sectors crucial for attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They are agriculture, energy and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) which constitute some of the most pressing needs humanity faces.

Last weekend marked the UN’s 75th anniversary

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SNV Uganda commemorative message on the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations

SNV joins the rest of the world in congratulating the United Nations on their 75th Anniversary spearheading development, humanitarian work, and peace and security initiatives across the world. We also take this opportunity to reiterate our commitment to the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by supporting the freedom of all people to pursue their sustainable development so that no one is left behind. As SNV we focus on three strategic sectors: agriculture, energy and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) which constitute some of the most pressing needs humanity faces today.

Nearly 690 million people in the world today face hunger and starvation, up 10 million since 2019. FAO estimates that the COVID-19 pandemic could add approximately 83-132 million people to this number this year. The need for more food is unquestionable, however, SNV believes that new ideas on food production methods should lead the way in addressing the projected food deficit. We need to rethink how we produce our food.

As recognised in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, there is a need for the sustainable intensification of more efficient agricultural production systems to protect and enhance the natural resource base while increasing productivity. Development must go beyond agriculture by involving rural and urban areas and supporting job creation and income diversification.

The SDG2 overarching goal to “End hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture” is one of the tenets that guide SNV’s work in agriculture in Uganda. This goal challenges us to rethink the way we grow and consume our food as it explicitly acknowledges the interdependence between hunger, nutrition and the need to make agriculture ‘sustainable’. Value chains and food systems need to become more inclusive, efficient and diverse, as well as nutrition-sensitive and climate smart. This is to ensure that people have access to food at affordable prices and opportunities to change to healthier and more balanced diets.

SNV uses a market-based approach in agriculture because the sector is primarily driven by the private sector. Through a food systems “lens”, we are able to identify key bottlenecks in the sector and develop inclusive business models. Public-Private Partnerships have helped us launch innovative products to address the root causes of why markets fail to meet the needs of people living in poverty. This approach is helping farmers to grow more food sustainably and creating jobs at different stages of the value chains.

Inclusive value chains

SNV works with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to strengthen their supply chains so that they remain competitive while ensuring environmental sustainability. By supporting agribusinesses, we are able to reach more farmers linked to the SMEs and ultimately improve the agricultural value chains and incomes. Support for businesses involves strengthening their supply chains by bolstering working relationships amongst producers, processors, distributors, small-scale farmers and service providers as well as financial brokering and co-investments.

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