- WORLD FOOD DAY COMMEMORATED IN FORT PORTAL
- SUSTAINABLE FOOD DIETS AT CENTER STAGE
By John Murungi Amooti
The hundreds of excited participants streamed into the Mayor’s Gardens in Fort Portal. The core task at hand was to partake in the sampling of over 48 food varieties specially prepared in commemoration of the 2017 World Food Day,-and also witness the bestowing of Food Ambassadors who were recognized for their tireless efforts in promoting indigenous food diets and increasing food production in Kabarole District.
The event that took place in Kabarole District was commemorated on the 16th October 2017. The commemoration was jointly organised by KRC-Uganda and Kabarole District Local Government, with Financial Support from Hivos and IIED under the SD4All programme, which promotes diets that are diverse, greener, healthier, fairer and more sustainable.
The function also received financial support from Broederlijk Delen under its Family Farming Programme. The theme of the event was Reviving the production and consumption of traditional and indigenous food varieties for better health, food security and rural development.
The function had a number of events, which included; children debates on food, speeches, food exhibitions, nutrition clinic and celebration of indigenous food through traditional Systems. The organizers also used this occasion to honor and bestow 5 dedicated individuals as Food Ambassadors.
These Ambasadors are;
- Hon. Richard Rwabuhinga – the Chairperson, Kabarole District Local Government
- Rev. Kintu Willy Muhanga – the Mayor, Fort Portal Municipality
- Hon. Mugisa Herbert – the Chairperson, South Division, Fort Portal Municipality
- Tom Mboijana – Senior Citizen, and member of Agahikaine (Coalition of the Willing)
- Madam Bwita Robinah- Proprietor, travelers Inn and leading producer of organic food
In this noble role of food ambassadors, they will particularly: Advocate for policy change in the food system of Kabarole District and Fort Portal Municipality, Sensitize citizens on healthier diets as well as Influence behavior change and local practices on healthier diets
The day started off with a march through Fort Portal Town to rally the public to the message of traditional and indigenous food varieties for better health, food security and rural development.
The match was followed by a Food Debate among the students of West Ville High School, and the pupils of Banyatereza, Buhinga and St. Paul’s Primary Schools in Fort Portal Municipality. The theme of the debate was “traditional or indigenous food is better than exotic food”.
Children displayed a rich knowledge on the subject matter, some in support of indigenous food and the others in support of exotic food. The children defined indigenous food as the kind of food with a historical thread into Africa’s culture and exotic food as that which has been introduced from foreign lands
The event that was aired on a live radio broadcast attracted was also graced by live music, dance and drama that promote healthier diets.
In his address, the Director, KRC Mr. Julius Mwanga gave the history of the World Food Day
“The world Food Day celebrates the creation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on October 16, 1945 in Quebec, Canada. First established in 1979, World Food Day has since then been observed in almost every country by millions of people. This year’s Global theme is; Change the future of migration. Invest in food security and rural development”
Mr. Mwanga also informed the participants that the world was on the move and more people were being forced to flee their homes than at any time since the Second World War due to increased conflict and political instability. But hunger, poverty, and an increase in extreme weather events linked to climate change are other important factors contributing to the migration challenge.
It was also noted at the event that many migrants arrive in developing countries, creating tensions where resources are already scarce, but the majority, about 763 million, move within their own countries rather than abroad.
Three-quarters of the extreme poor base their livelihoods on agriculture or other rural activities. Creating conditions that allow rural people, especially youth, to stay at home when they feel it is safe to do so, and to have more resilient livelihoods, is a crucial component of any plan to tackle the migration challenge.
According to the Head of Farmer Enterprise Development Unit at KRC, Medius Bihunirwa, the Food Fest will be followed by the Food Summit at the end of November 2017. The Food Summit is a global event that brings together stakeholders involved in the promotion of sustainable food diets