KAMPALA FOOD EVENT HIGHLIGHTS URBAN FARMING AND NUTRITION INITIATIVES

PUBLISHED — 14th, June 2024

The Kampala Food Event, has highlighted Kampala Capital City Authorities’ (KCCA) commitment to combating malnutrition and promoting urban farming.

Celebrated under the theme "Unveiling the potential of farming for improved food, nutrition, and income," the event, was held at Railway grounds on Friday.

The event was organized under the Building Sustainable, Learning and Inclusive Cities – Kampala and Strasbourg (SLICKS) project, showcased the city's commitment to tackling food insecurity and malnutrition through innovative agricultural practices.

Eng. David Luyimbazi, Deputy Executive Director of KCCA, representing the Executive Director Dorothy Kisaka, emphasized KCCA's ongoing interventions in addressing malnutrition.

He highlighted the Agro-industrialization program, through which KCCA has supported over 18,000 beneficiaries with agricultural inputs and extension services since the fiscal year 2011.

The NAADS program has enhanced urban farming activities including mushroom, vegetable, poultry, and piggery farming, alongside providing value addition equipment for various products like groundnut paste and ice cream.

The KCCA's Directorate of Gender, Community Services, and Production, mandated to promote urban farming, aims to address these issues through skills development, information dissemination, and access to agricultural innovations.

The event featured diverse activities including exhibitions, cooking classes, food tastings, and climate-smart urban farming demonstrations.

Deputy Lord Mayor Doreen Nyanjura spoke at the event, highlighting the importance of empowering women in urban farming. She praised the event's organizers for its uniqueness and stressed the need for women to own land, which would improve urban farming and combat malnutrition.

Nyanjura emphasized shifting women's focus from income to nutrition and advocated for providing soft loans, advanced technology, and reducing food wastage to support farmers.

Sheila Birungi, the Director of Gender, Community Services, and Production, revealed initiatives empowering communities to grow food locally, thereby promoting food security and income generation through urban farming.

Malnutrition remains a critical issue, disproportionately affecting vulnerable groups, particularly children under five, leading to stunting, and pregnant women, causing anemia.

The SLICKS project, a collaboration between Kampala and Strasbourg, spearheads kitchen gardening in schools, teaching children to grow food at school and home, thus incorporating nutritious vegetables into their meals.

Reflecting on the genesis of the event, Birungi revealed it was inspired by a KCCA delegation's visit to Strasbourg's Food Event.

This technical exchange led to the idea of organizing a similar event in Kampala to promote healthy diets and prevent non-communicable diseases.

The Kampala Food Event aims to unite stakeholders across the agricultural sector, including government officials, NGOs, healthcare providers, and community leaders, to foster a collective effort towards healthier lifestyles.

Abim district Woman MP Janet Grace Akech Okori-Moe underscored the importance of urban farming in addressing food insecurity and malnutrition.

She advocated for integrating urban farming into city planning and committed to supporting agricultural funding in Kampala.

 



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