Putting indigenous foods and food systems at the heart of sustainable food and nutrition security in Uganda
This paper (PDF) by Hivos and IIED documents the status and importance of indigenous foods and food systems in Uganda in order to inform policies, programmes and action at the local and national level. Uganda is rich in nutritious indigenous foods. This wealth needs to be conserved and used to promote indigenous foods across different population groups, given the population’s inadequate dietary intake. However, there is limited awareness of the potential of indigenous foods to address food and nutrition security, climate change and environmental challenges due to lack of investment to improve yields and markets, and the perceptions of it being a poor man’s food. Knowledge and information on the production constraints, processing and value addition of indigenous foods is either lacking or not widely available. Although some national policy documents mention the conservation, production or consumption of indigenous foods, in general this is not very pronounced. A policy brief (PDF) was created for special attention to the recommendations. These are: 1) On policy level: Creating a more enabling policy environment. The government needs to take a strong leadership role so that funding of such programmes becomes a priority. 2) On programme implementation: Enhancing capacity and knowledge among actors and sectors. Such as by initiating muli-actor/sector collaborations, strengthening the role of the private sector, investing in communities and youth capacity and invest in nutrient analysis. 3) At community level: Supporting bottom-up citizen action. Local partens can take action by encouraging and supporting community efforts, supporting communities to play a key role in sensitising, increasing the voice of women and youth, providing a key leadership role to community elders, promoting local, traditional and indigenousmethods of dood production, processing and preservation and ensuring recognition of the importance of indigenous peoples’ traditional cultures, food ways and knowledge.
This study is part of the Sustainable Diets for All programme.