11/2016. If you eat food that lasts for just a few months, how long do you think you will last?
BY DOREEN NANYONGA, Monitoring, Evaluation and Documentation Officer
We concur with these remarks that Hon. Lawrence Bategeka, the Member of Parliament for Hoima Municipality made during the recently concluded Indigenous and Traditional food fair.
“When God created this world, we are told that the world was so beautiful. There were only 2 people –Adam and Eve and the population was so small. And then, in came challenges of population growth. We are naturally dependent on natural resources and with the population growth, these became scarce and food insecurity rose. As humans, there were 2 ways of responding to the challenges of population growth -conservation and use of scientific methods.
Conservation requires keeping and maintaining the resources so that the world remains beautiful. With population growth however, practices such as bush burning, deforestation and so on made conservation very difficult.
Use of scientific methods on the other hand focuses on employing higher yielding methods such as GMOs to meet the ever increasing food requirements of the large population.
Conservation and use of scientific methods are competing. Unfortunately, we pay little attention to the former. Our millet and cassava varieties are disappearing. They used to last for a very long time but the new varieties last for just a few months. If you eat food that lasts for just a few months, how long do you think you will last?
Scientists in higher institutions of learning need to help us create a balance between these two. You can’t tell me that God was not scientific when he created the whole world the way he did.
Today, there is a high demand for organic foods because they are healthy and fetch higher premium. We can reverse the damage already done. We need to deal with the issue of population growth, debate on GMOs and the current price of indigenous and traditional foods. This is a challenge dear to us Members of Parliament.”