Reference Date: 27-April-2015
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
In bi-modal rainfall areas, late and erratic rains affected first season crops in central and southern districts
Prices of matooke and beans increased by 20-40 percent between February and March in most markets
Food security concerns persist in parts of Karamoja region
Prospects for 2015 first season crops are uncertain in bi-modal areas due to erratic seasonal rains
In bi-modal areas, planting of 2015 first season crops, has been completed around mid-April, with some weeks of delay due to low soil moisture and high temperatures. After a late start at the end of March, seasonal rains were erratic, with well above-average amounts in most central and northern areas and significant dry spells in southern areas. The overall performance of first season crops, to be harvested from June, depends on rains during the remaining part of the season. The latest meteorological forecast indicates generally favourable weather conditions.
In the mostly uni-modal Karamoja region, despite some delays, rains between the end of March and the beginning of April allowed farmers to start planting food crops, for harvest from September. The rains also gave some relief to grazing resources following the long dry season that started last December. During the coming months, rainfall amounts are forecast at average to below-average levels in most parts of Karamoja region.
Matooke and beans prices increase sharply
Prices of important food crops, such as matooke (cooking banana) and beans, rose sharply in March 2015 by 20 to 40 percent, with increased demand during the Easter holidays. At the same time, wholesale prices of maize increased seasonally by about 15 percent in most markets, reflecting the high import demand from Kenya where the recently-concluded 2015 short-rains harvest had a below-average performance. However, despite the recent increases, current maize prices are still 30‑35 percent below their levels of last year.
Pockets of food insecurity persist in Karamoja region
Uganda is generally food secure with pockets of low chronic food insecurity in most bi-modal rainfall areas. Most food markets are well supplied following the above average 2014 second season crop production that was harvested between December and February as well as the reduced export flows to South Sudan.
By contrast, in Karamoja region, despite better on-farm labour opportunities due to ongoing planting activities, about 180 000 people are estimated to be severely food insecure, especially in Moroto and Kaabong districts where household food stocks depleted two-three months earlier than usual, extending the length of the lean season that normally starts in March/April.
According to UNHCR, the country hosts over 436 000 refugees and asylum seekers, mainly from the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, which receive emergency food assistance by main