Civil society members in Uganda have expressed concern about the significant amount of food being wasted in the country. According to the UN Environment Program Food Waste Index Report for 2021, the average Ugandan discards approximately 103 kilograms of food annually. This amounts to a total of 4,546 metric tons of wasted food in Uganda every year.
The research also revealed that Uganda experiences a loss of 6,462 metric tons of food waste from restaurants and other food establishments, while farmers lose between 30% to 50% of their crops, particularly in grains, fruits, and vegetables, during post-harvest handling. An astonishing 80% of food is lost on the farm itself.
To address this issue, a joint press conference was held at the Food Rights Alliance offices in Kampala on the occasion of the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste. Claire Atukunda, the program manager at FRA, highlighted the severity of this problem, especially in a country where more than 10 million Ugandans struggle with food insecurity. She called for the establishment of a robust national food distribution system to mitigate food wastage.
Atukunda emphasized, “We advocate for the establishment of a clear and effective food distribution system in this country. There’s a need for a system that enables us to efficiently produce food and distribute it to different regions so that people can have access to food throughout the year.”
Meanwhile, Gerald Kato, an official from Hunger Project Uganda, encouraged Ugandans to reconsider cultural norms and practices, such as lavish weddings, which often influence consumption patterns that contribute to food wastage.