Question: If you were designing an agricultural investment programme, what are the top 5 things you would do to maximize its impact on nutrition?
For effective investment, I would look at the following;
For example, in 2008, Uganda crafted a Food and Nutrition Security policy that details practical interventions for arresting food insecurity, undernourishment and over nourishment. It will be interesting to audit the state of policy implementation. As far as I can recall, there was a clash of mandate on which ministry was to take lead in implementation- i.e. The Ministry of Health or The Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries? Was it resolved? Is implementation process on rail? Are we achieving results?
The other aspect is about education and information on nutrition. Are households (rural, peri-urban and urban) exposed to ferment of information on nutrition? Take the example of Bushenyi district in western Uganda- it is one of the highest milk producers in Uganda with the highest level of undernourished children! Reason? All milk is sold out and less /none is left for children. Can we strike a balance between what goes to the market and what is served on the table.
Related to the above- with information and little bit of nudging from local authorities- surely every household in Uganda- save for slum-urban dwellers can have a small kitchen/back yard garden of vegetables/ fruits etc. Its’ possible to have this culture here? Yes- it is possible if we invest in information and efficacy of local governments.
Uganda should put in place- a one milk cow for every household policy. Why? One-Milk will be available for families. Two- Manure (compost) to make other crops (variety) work. The contention is on the right breed and balancing inputs and outputs and context of a given household.
Make fortified and drought resistant seeds accessible for areas facing undernourishment and stunted children in Uganda (drought prone and conflict areas).
Chief Executive Officer
Agency for Transformation (AfT)