Fort Portal Food change Lab

Food is increasingly becoming a global concern- with climate change hitting hard, some of the most vulnerable societies will most likely suffer food shortages.

Making food available to a growing global population – worries economists and governments across the world. Presently, of the 7 billlion people, 3 billion people are malnourished. How many more people will become malnourished as the population continues to grow? This is a question that development actors should be preparing for.

Many of the malnourished people leave in impoverished situations both in the developed and the developing countries. The urbanization policy among African governments without proper planning could even accelerate the situation. Many people in urban communities often struggle to put food on the table if not on the ground or floor. A significant number of urban residents have been found to depend on cheap but less nutritious street food.

The urbanization policy by African governments seems to aim at attracting people to the urban areas without planning the likely outcomes of such policies. Most likely, this policy will not only create imbalances in food production but will make food un-affordable for urban residents.  Are there

alternative ways to plan urban development without necessarily attracting people into small urbanized places?

In most of the cases, the attention of African governments is on hard infrastructure and less attention is given to the soft needs of urban residents

How can towns and their rural hinterlands ensure a future that is food secure, prosperous and green under rapid urbanization? Such complex challenges face many areas of sub-Saharan Africa, including Fort Portal and Kabarole district in western Uganda. They are not solved through conventional planning.

Over the past one year or so, the model of transition of Fort Portal into a city has evolved and there is a new strand which brings an explicit focus on the region’s foo
d and farming. This is what the Fort Portal food “change lab” has been studying in depth and which gave rise to the People’s Summit on Food,to conceive a new paradigm for the growth of Fort Portal and its rural hinterland.