Edie Mukiibi, a Ugandan farmer, agronomist and activist who recently took the helm of the global “Slow Food” movement, founded by Carlo Petrini.

He is our guest for the third episode of “The chef’s surprise”, where we wanted to change the menu and give you food for thought – not only to become aware of what is on our plates, but also to know their origins and discover how they come to us.

Mukiibi, now in his thirties, leads a movement to preserve local food cultures and traditions, active in 160 countries through 10,000 projects.

Before arriving at this position, Mukiibi told us about his journey in agriculture, which began in his childhood. Coming from a modest family, he worked on a small family plot near the shores of Lake Victoria in the Ugandan countryside.

This passion served him well in school, where he ended up spending a lot of time in the school vegetable garden.

At the time, his teachers gave him agricultural chores as punishment when he arrived late or spoke in Luganda, the local language, instead of English – two “offences” of which Mukiibi was a repeat offender.

Spurred on by a desire to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers like himself, Mukiibi continued his studies in agriculture at Makerere University in the capital, Kampala.

Closeup shot of organic oil and cream. green cosmetic arrangement, Fresh herbal skincare cosmetics. Essential oil, craft bottle, flowers, jar facial cream. Natural beauty care remedy

But it was there that a harrowing experience working on an agribusiness project profoundly changed Mukiibi’s view of farming systems and set him on the path that would lead him to “Slow Food”.

To hear Mukiibi’s story in full, and learn more about the Slow Food movement, listen to the full episode, on all podcast platforms.

If you want to try new recipes and want to learn more about African ingredients, listen to the first and second episodes of our series on the funio and the Bambara.

The “La Surprise du Chef” podcast is funded by the European Center for Journalism, through the Solutions Journalism Accelerator programme. 

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