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Reference Date: 04-May-2016

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Good prospects for 2016 first season crop production

  2. Maize prices seasonally increasing but at low levels

  3. High food vulnerability persists in Karamoja Region

Favourable prospects for 2016 first season crop production

In bi‑modal areas, planting of the 2016 “long‑rains” first season crops was completed at the beginning of April, with one-two weeks of delay due to below average rainfall amounts in mid‑March. However, abundant precipitations in April have improved soil moisture conditions across southern and central cropping areas. Pasture conditions are improving along most of the cattle corridor, with the exception of northern districts of Lira, Apac and Soroti, that experienced some dry spells in March. Meteorological forecasts for the month of May indicate an increased likelihood of normal to above normal rainfall, which is expected to have a favourable impact on yields of the 2016 first season crops, to be harvested by June.

Pasture conditions improving in southern and central Karamoja Region

In uni‑modal rainfall Karamoja Region, planting activities are underway as rains started during the second dekad of April, with a slight delay of one‑two weeks. Recent favourable rains improved availability of pasture and water resources after the negative effects of the January to March dry season. However, as of late April, pockets of below average pasture conditions still persist in the northern district of Kaabong, as shown by the NDVI anomaly map.

Maize prices seasonally increasing but at low levels

Wholesale prices of maize declined by 15‑25 percent in all monitored markets between November 2015 and January 2016, as crops from the 2015 “short‑rains” second season harvest increased supplies. Subsequently, prices increased by 15‑20 percent between January and April 2016 in the capital, Kampala and in Masindi, following normal seasonal patterns. In Busia, a key cross‑border hub with Kenya, prices seasonally increased by about 20 percent between January and March 2016, subsequently declining by 7 percent in April due to lower export demand from Kenya, where domestic availabilities increased following the recent completion of the “short‑rains” harvest. Overall, prices of maize in April where around or below their levels of the same month of the previous year. In Kampala, retail prices of “matooke” (cooking bananas), an important staple, were stable in recent months and subsequently declined by 15 percent in April 2016. By contrast, prices of beans and cassava flour increased in April by 2 and 8 percent, respectively.

Satisfactory food security conditions, except in Karamoja Region

The bumper 2015 second season crop production, harvested at the beginning of the year, has improved food availability and access in most bi‑modal areas, and food stocks are expected to last until the next harvest in June. Labour opportunities related to planting and weeding of 2016 first season crops are providing some income to poor households, with an ensuing improvement in local purchasing power.

In Karamoja Region, however, most poor households are experiencing a long and harsh lean season that started in January, about two months earlier than usual, due to a below‑average crop production harvested at the end of last year. As household food stocks have already been depleted, the local population mainly relies on the markets to satisfy its food needs. Labour opportunities linked to the start of the cropping season are providing some income to poor households with a positive impact on their purchasing capacity. However, major improvements in food security conditions are not expected before next July, when first green crops will become available. Consumption of wild foods is on the rise with the onset of the rainy season.

As of late March 2016, the country hosts almost 526 000 registered refugees and asylum seekers from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi and Somalia. In particular, the number of South Sudanese new arrivals has dramatically picked up during the first two weeks of April due to militia activities in Bor, Twic, Uror and Fangak counties. According to UNHCR, about 30 000 refugees have already arrived from South Sudan during the first quarter of the year, equal to 80 percent of the initial planning figure for the whole year. High malnutrition rates are reported amongst the new arrivals.









Relevant links:
From GIEWS:
 As of Jun 2016, included in the list of "Countries Requiring External Assistance for Food"
 Cereal Supply/Demand Balance Sheet
 Food Price Data and Analysis Tool
 Earth Observation Indicators
 Maps
 Seasonal Indicators
 Vegetation Indicators
 Precipitation Indicators
 Graphs & Data
 NDVI & Precipitation
 Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM) Reports & Special Alerts: 2014, 2008, 2006, 1997
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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