Agriculture

Uganda’s Food Security Problems Not about to End – Experts

Ugandans lineup to receive food aid recently

The current food insecurity problem in Uganda might go on for months and years  if Uganda’s agricultural sector continues to depend on natural climate, and food security experts have said

According to Relief web international, sale the proportion of food secure population in Uganda has declined from 83% in July 2016 to 69% in January 2017.

An estimated 10.9 million people are experiencing acute food insecurity , of which 1.6 million (5%) are in a crisis situation (phase 3).

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Those in phase 3 are found in Central-1 (0.58 million); Karamoja (0.12 million), Teso (0.2 million), East Central (0.38 million) and South Western (0.31 million) regions.

All regions in the country have a combined food security stressed population of 9.3 million (26%).

The worsening food security situation is attributed to the effects of the 2016 prolonged drought which resulted into reduced crop and livestock production.

There has also been excessive sale of food due to the economic strain that’s id in the country that has seen almost all prices of essential needs doubling resulting into reduced household stocks and high food prices.

Poor households in Uganda normally referred to as peasants who depend on natural rains and the mercy of God have been most affected and will continue to be if government does not put effects to modernize the agricultural sector.

According to Uganda’s food security assessments conducted by Famine Early warning system network (FEWS NET), poor households who rely on rain-fed production and typically cultivate small plot sizes experienced production losses in 2016 which greatly lowered household food stocks.

In a normal year, poor households produce enough cereal to meet basic household consumption needs and November-December household stocks typically last until the subsequent harvest in May/June.

This year, though, rapid food security assessments conducted by FEWS NET and information from partner reports indicate that many poor households in parts of Uganda had run out of the last year’s harvest and were resorting to doing manual labor in other peoples farms to feed their families.

From the same reports, higher than normal, cereal prices have driven a decline in household purchasing power, as measured by labor-to-cereal and goat-to-cereal terms of trade (ToT).

In Soroti, the labor-to-maize ToT declined by 51 percent from December to January, while the labor-to-maize flour ToT declined by 20 percent, larger declines than are seasonally normal.

The labor-to-maize flour ToT are now 12 percent below the three-year average.

Similarly, the goat-to-maize flour ToT in Soroti is 24 percent below the three-year average.

Comparable trends were seen in other bimodal areas that experienced below-average production.

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