Dr. Samuel Mugasi the Executive Director of National Agriculture Advisory Services says that farmers should look at the over production as blessing because there is no food insecurity in country which would plunge families in hunger.
World Food Programme WFP has finally begun procurement of food for millions of refugees in Uganda from small-holder farmers in Acholi sub region, more than a decade after it fed residents there. Previously, the agency directly procured food from small-holder farmer cooperatives in Bunyoro, Buganda and West Nile sub regions in Uganda.
In the case of Uganda, inadequate and erratic rainfall coupled with an overflow from conflicts in neighboring countries is posing a growing threat to food security. It indicates that while Uganda is still grappling with the lingering effects of two consecutive seasons of reduced agricultural output, it has a task to feed a population of more than 1.5 million refugees coming in mainly from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Dr John Ssekamatte, manager Population and Social Sector Planning at National Planning Authority, a lead researcher in the study said Uganda needs to put in place a number of mechanisms to end hunger by 2030 including regulating cross-border food trade. He argued that cross-border trade is good but unregulated trade in staple foods leaves Uganda without sufficient food during crisis time.
Last year, Bundibugyo District health department embarked on the formation of nutrition committees at sub county level to combat malnutrition in the community. The committees were tasked to work together with village authorities to ensure that all households are food secure and properly feeding their children.
Francis Okulu, the Acting Commandant Kyaka II settlement center, says since the refugees have managed to adjust to the life in the camp, they are being encouraged to utilize the plots of land they were allocated.
A family of seven people in Bukyaye village, Nakalama sub county in Iganga district survives on half a kilogramme of posho daily. In the same village, URN visited another homestead which had the same problem. Kaudah Edinansi, a mother of four says she and her children survive on raw mangoes for lunch. She says that she lost all her yields to drought.
The situation is serious, the influx of South Sudanese has not stopped, there are a number coming in through Elegu, through Oraba, through informal border points in Arua district and the resourcing issues is serious, says WFP Communication Manager Lydia Wamala.
Noel Namara, the manager Rwimi Warehouse defends the increment, saying the costs are meant to cater for value-added services such as cleaning, drying and security. He adds that since the warehouse guarantees to maintain the grains quality, the farmers should welcome the costs.
At present over 400,000 South Sudanese refugees have fled into neighboring countries. Uganda alone is hosting up to 118,000 refugees who fled into the country since the fighting began in mid- December 2013.
David Ojangole, the head teacher Kidepo - Pupu one of the affected schools says the situation is alarming. He explains that out of 120 pupils enrolled in the school now a handful attend school on a daily basis.
Charles Nkumbi, the Rwimi Ware House Manager says that in the past five months, the number of farmers depositing their produce at the ware house has increased from 300 to 900. The Ware house receipt system has also enabled farmers\' associations to sell their produce to World Food Programme--WFP.
Some farmers have resorted to growing small quantities of food,while others are spending too much money to rent land. Statistics at Kabarole district agricultural department show that 65% of the farmers face a problem of land for cultivation.
Bundibugyo district council has passed a bye-law compelling all farmers in the district to plant food crops and not focus only on cocoa growing. In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report indicating that at least 45% of children below the age of 5 years in Bundibugyo district suffer from chronic malnutrition.