13th Annual Indigenous Foods and Seeds Fair This Week

Officials from PELUM Uganda and the ministry of agriculture, animal industry and fisheries at a presser conference held earlier. PHOTO/COURTESY

Kampala, Uganda | THE BLACK EXAMINER | Pelum Uganda has announced the upcoming return of its annual traditional foods and seeds fair, scheduled to occur from October 26th to 27th at the Hotel Africana People’s space.

This year’s event will be centered around the theme, “Fostering Healthy, Nutritious, and Resilient Food Systems for All.”

Dr. Christopher Kyeswa, the country board chairman of Pelum Uganda, emphasized the importance of preserving traditional foods while announcing the National Agro-Ecology Week of Action.

The primary objective is to highlight the significance of Uganda’s indigenous and traditional foods and seeds in promoting both current and future health and sustainability.

“Traditional food systems play a pivotal role in achieving food security, improving nutrition, and supporting sustainable agriculture.”

Furthermore, a series of week-long activities have been planned, starting with the 5th National Agro-Ecology Actors Symposium on October 22nd, themed “Accelerating a Just, Inclusive, and Resilient Food System through Agro-Ecology.”

The following event, the 2nd Agro-Ecological Market Systems Expo (AMASE), will take place on October 25th under the theme “Advancing Agro-Ecological Entrepreneurship and Synergies for Sustainable Market Development.” This expo provides an opportunity for the public to engage with a wide array of established businesses and entrepreneurs who have demonstrated resilience in advancing agro-ecological ventures in the ever-evolving agricultural sector.

Kyeswa also pointed out that this agro-ecological week offers a unique chance for the public to explore diverse traditional Ugandan foods from various regions, such as malakwang, malewa, and luwombo.

He stressed, “Scaling up agro-ecology in Uganda is vital for realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 2, which focuses on achieving zero hunger by transitioning to more sustainable food systems with greater socioeconomic benefits.”

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George Bob Sunday, the national focal point person for ecological organic agriculture in the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries, encouraged Ugandans to think innovatively about sustainable land use practices, considering the fixed nature of land and the growing population.

He stated, “Agro-ecology will play a crucial role in ensuring biodiversity conservation. The Ministry has drafted a national agro-ecology strategy, which will bring order to all agro-ecology stakeholders.”

George added, “Currently, we have 565 hectares under agro-ecology and over 600,000 certified organic farmers certified by the ministry.”

Elizabeth Kabakoyo, the leader of the World Food Forum representing agro-ecological entrepreneurs, acknowledged the challenges faced by farmers, including limited markets for their agro-ecological products and the use of harmful chemicals. She expressed confidence in organizations like Pelum Uganda and other partners stepping in to support indigenous farmers.

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