Reference Date: 08-February-2013
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Harvesting of 2012 second season crops is almost complete
Aggregate 2012 cereal production is tentatively estimated at a slightly above average level
Pasture conditions are generally good in Karamoja region
Maize prices increasing in Kampala
Average production expected from the 2012 second season crops
Harvesting of the 2012 second season cereal crops in bimodal rainfall areas, the main cropping season in central, southern and western Uganda, is almost complete. Production is tentatively estimated at about average to above average levels. In some areas, high post-harvest losses are expected due to some unseasonal late rains that jeopardized drying conditions. Land preparation is underway for planting the 2013 first season crops to coincide with the start of the seasonal rains in March. Some dry sowing activities are already taking place in areas of the eastern and northern regions. The overall cereal production in 2012 is estimated at about 2.9 million tonnes, slightly above the previous year and the last five years average.
Water-logging and disease affected yields in the Karamoja region
In uni-modal rainfall areas of Karamoja region, harvesting of the 2012 cereal and pulse crops was concluded last October/November, with some late-maturing varieties of sorghum harvested in January 2013. Production is estimated at below average levels following water-logging conditions (especially during germination and flowering stages) and attacks of some fungal diseases. In particular, very low yields are reported in parts of Kaabong, Kotido and Moroto districts. The abundant and prolonged rainy season has however improved pasture conditions with positive effects on livestock body conditions and reducing/delaying migration toward better grazing areas.
High demand for maize pushes prices up in Kampala’s market
Prices of maize in the capital Kampala continued the increasing trend of recent months (+10 percent from December to January), due to strong local and export demand, in particular from Kenya, South Sudan, DRC and Rwanda. By contrast, maize prices declined by 9 percent over the same period in Lira’s market, located in one of the major producing areas as newly harvested second season crops increased supplies. Compared to the same month last year, January maize prices were 27 percent higher in Kampala, while they were at about the same level in Lira. Prices of beans and cassava flour, important staples, were generally stable between December and January. While January prices of beans were at about the same levels of the same month last year, prices of cassava flour were about 50 percent higher.
Food security outlook remains favourable across the country
Food insecurity is minimal in most regions of the country following the good 2012 second season harvest that replenished household food stocks and crop sales provided additional income to surplus producing farmers. However, some food stress was reported in parts of Karamoja, especially in those areas that gathered a below average harvest. Here the lean season started in January, a couple of months earlier than usual, as many households have already depleted their food stocks and have started to sell their animals in order to buy food.