Uukwangula — The Oshana regional council and the World Food Programme (WFP) yesterday signed an agreement to help improve food security and nutrition in the region.
The agreement was signed at the Nakalega irrigation project at Uukwangula, where the country’s National Food Security and Nutrition Policy was launched in December last year.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Oshana governor Elia Irimari said the agreement will ensure food security of the vulnerable communities is adequately addressed, especially during catastrophic moments.
“I encourage both parties to work closely together in order to effectively support and respond to the needs of the vulnerable and food insecure communities in Oshana,” stressed Irimari.
The governor reiterated that food security is central to government’s efforts to achieve sustainable economic growth as well as build inclusive and dignified livelihoods for the people, hence the prioritisation of the agricultural sector to give impetus to the growing economy.
He emphasised the agreement should be seen as a pillar in the journey to eradicate poverty and hunger through its successful implementation.
Irimari, however, stressed the desired outcome of the agreement can only be realised if the programme is implemented timely and that there is a plan of action in place.
In addition, the governor said there is also a need to support local farmers to build resilience to adapt to climate change.
Apart from support towards climate change, Irimari said the farmers need further assistance with agricultural implements, skills training, capacity building and access to markets.
“The Oshana regional council and WFP are given a unique opportunity through this agreement to realise the promise of food self-sufficiency by mobilising the participation and support of all local farmers, including those at the grassroots level,” said Irimari.
At the onset of the programme, the governor highlighted that sustainable food security cannot be realised exclusively by feeding the poor but by empowering the hungry to feed themselves.
“It remains our collective responsibility as communities to produce enough food to eat, promote diets with nutrition essentials so that ultimately we can guarantee the availability, the quality and affordability of food to every household,” the governor highlighted.
Also speaking at the event, WFP’s Ericah Shadudah, who represented the country’s director George Fedha, said the MoU comes at the right time when the country is crippled by the effects of the global trend, where food and fuel price has been on an increase.
“This MoU comes at the right time when we have started to feel the global trends’ effects. The global food and fuel prices have gone up, and the fuel and farm inputs are critical inputs in food production. Therefore, we need to see how we can respond to the effects of global food price increases,” Shafudah said.
Shafudah further said the humanitarian organisation partnered with various regional councils, including Oshana, to promote food and ensure communities have enough to feed themselves and surplus to give to others or sell for an income.