Reference Date: 11-November-2014
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
In bi-modal rainfall areas, production of second season crops is estimated at average level
Below-average crop production expected in Karamoja region
Maize prices continue to seasonally decline in most markets
Food security concerns persist in parts of Karamoja region
Favourable prospects for the 2014 second season crop production in bi-modal areas
In bi-modal areas, harvesting of 2014 second season crops is about to start and production prospects are favourable. The second rainy season (September-December) started early at the end of August and rainfall has been generally abundant and well-distributed, with positive effects on yields and pasture conditions. However, according to satellite imagery analysis localized moderate soil moisture deficits are currently reported in eastern Iganga district as well as in Mpigi and Kampala districts bordering Lake Victoria.
Aggregate 2014 cereal production is forecast at about 3.5 million tonnes, similar to last year’s bumper harvest and about 3 percent above the last five-year average. Import requirements for the 2015 marketing year (January/December) are forecast at an average 440 000 tonnes, mainly wheat and rice. In addition, a surplus of about 300 000 tonnes of maize is available for exports to neighbouring countries such as Rwanda, South Sudan and Kenya.
Unfavourable crop prospects in eastern uni-modal Karamoja region
In the mostly uni-modal Karamoja region, harvesting of long‑cycle crops is underway. Cereal production is forecast at below-average levels following reduced plantings due to unfavourable rains in April as well as below-average and erratic rainfall during the rainy season (April-September). In particular, yields were affected by a prolonged dry spell between the end of June and mid-July and by very limited rainfall amounts during the last two dekads of September. Additional losses occurred in early October as unseasonal heavy rains affected sorghum crops that were drying in the fields.
Very good pasture conditions in the cattle corridor
The abundant rains during the second rainy season benefitted grazing resources across most bimodal areas. In the “cattle corridor” districts, especially in the southwest, animal body conditions are generally good and milk production is satisfactory. Further improvements are expected during the next few months as rains are forecast at average to above-average levels until the end of the year.
Maize prices continue to seasonally decline
Wholesale prices of maize declined seasonally during the last five months by about 40-45 percent as crops from the first season harvest started to increase supplies from last June. Favourable prospects for the second season harvest, to be gathered soon, are exerting additional downward pressure on prices. Despite the sustained export demand from neighbouring Kenya, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, current maize prices are about 35-45 percent below last year’s levels. In Kampala, retail prices of matooke (cooking bananas), an important staple, increased in October by 12 percent, while prices of beans and cassava flour were mostly stable.
Pockets of acute food insecurity in Karamoja region calls for sustained humanitarian assistance
The country is generally food secure with chronic food insecurity at minimal levels in most bi-modal rainfall areas. The availability of recently-harvested crops and the decline in food prices are improving overall food security conditions. Conversely, in Karamoja region, about 700 000 people remain at Stressed (IPC Phase 2) level of acute food insecurity. Local food security conditions have slightly improved with the start of the ongoing harvest but food stocks are expected to be only partially replenished and they will likely be exhausted by January 2015, extending the length of the next lean season (normally starting in March) by at least a couple of months. In addition, an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) since May 2014 has restricted livestock movements in the region, with significant reduction in sales and worsening terms of trade for pastoralists.
According to UNHCR, following the conflict in South Sudan which erupted from 15 December 2014, about 129
300 South Sudanese refugees entered Uganda, half of them are children under 12 years and are hosted in camps in northwestern towns of Adjumani and Kiryandongo. Main humanitarian
agencies are currently providing emergency food assistance.