The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Director General, Mr José Graziano da Silva, has appointed Mr Antonio Querido as the new Country Representative in Uganda.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Sam Kutesa, while receiving Mr Querido’s credentials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kampala recently, stressed that FAO is a key partner of the Government of Uganda and has supported the agricultural sector for years.
Hon. Kutesa also highlighted the need to transform Uganda’s agriculture sector from peasantry to commercial farming with emphasis on value chain, post-harvest handling as well as improving quality to enable Uganda’s produce meet set standards for export to regional and international markets.
“We have been working with FAO especially supporting the Government to achieve its commitment to zero hunger in the country. We look forward to continue working with you,” said Kutesa.
Querido pledged FAO’s continued support to Uganda and reported that he is delighted to be joining a highly qualified and committed staff team at FAO’s country office.
“We will continue working with the Government of Uganda through key ministries and the private sector to boost our technical support to improving the sector, including agriculture production and market access, youth employment, value chain development, climate change adaptation, refugee response, livestock production and productivity, fisheries among others,” he said.
Mr Querido holds a Bachelor’s degree in Plant Science-Agronomy, University of California, Davis, USA; a Master’s Degree in Environmental System Analysis and Monitoring, ITC, Enschede, The Netherlands; and a PhD in Tropical Plant and Soil Science, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, USA.
He started his career in 1993, as a Researcher/Head of Environmental Science Department at the National Institute for Agricultural Research and Development (INIDA), in Praia, Cabo Verde, and was appointed President of INIDA in 2001. From 2008 to 2010, he served as Dean of the Science and Technology Department at the University of Cabo Verde, Praia.
He then joined UNDP in 2010 as Head of the Environmental, Energy and Disaster Prevention Unit, in Cabo Verde and later served as Chief Technical Advisor, at the FAO Representation in Angola from 2016.
During his introductory meeting with the Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Honorable Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja, Querido affirmed FAO’s commitment to support the Ministry by developing and advocating for transformative policies, as well as mobilizing resources required for relevant programs/projects implementation, institutional capacity building to ensure sustainability of the results.
Ssempijja highlighted the strong relationship Uganda has had with FAO for the last 39 years, which, he said has resulted in some of the key achievements that the sector has registered.
“My ministry and I have a strong ally in FAO, right from the Director General Graziano da Silva who continues to offer us immense support to address some of challenges especially in fisheries, crops, livestock, and refugees,” he added.
Mr Querido, a national of Cabo Verde (West Africa), replaces Mr Alhaji Jallow who retired in February 2018, after serving FAO Uganda for six years.