Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has asked cabinet to come up with a clear policy on food storage the lack of which, she said, is the cause of the current food shortage and famine in many parts of the country.
Kadaga, who was chief guest at the wedding of MP David Lukyamuzi Kalwanga (Independent, Busujju), said that traders from neighbouring countries of Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and South Sudan, buy all their food supplies from Uganda due to the lack of proper food storage facilities.
“I ask cabinet to have a policy. We cannot be the only good people in the region, selling all our food to our neighbours,” said Kadaga. “We must protect our people from famine by putting up storage facilities.”
Recently, the Minister of Agriculture Vincent Ssempijja presented a report to parliament showing that over 10 million people are experiencing acute food insecurity, with 1.6 million of them considered to be in a crisis situation.
Speaker Kadaga said that Uganda was the only country in the region “without controls on food exports,” as Kenya and Tanzania forbid food exportation.
Kadaga also said that farmers require cheap and low interest loans to enable them set up storage facilities and compete favorably with foreign traders.
The speaker hailed the Vision Group organized Agriculture Expo held at Namboole where a variety of farm equipment, produce and irrigation equipment were on display.
The Supreme Mufti, Sheikh Kasule Ndirangwa appealed to government to provide or fund simple and cheap irrigation facilities to support food growing across the country. He said that irrigation in arid countries had helped with food growing, and saved people from famine.
The wedding reception in Nawanjiri Village, Ngandwe Parish, Mityana on Saturday was attended by the Government Chief Whip, Ruth Nankabirwa, Minister of State for Tourism, Godfrey Kiwanda, several MPs, aspirants for the East African Legislative Assembly and hundreds of people attended the event.