Summary Performance of the Second Season of 2022 with Farm Gate and Market Prices of Selected Commodities from Selected Districts in Uganda.
Whilst the global food prices witnessed a sustained decline in the prices of agricultural commodities for the last 10 months of 2022, the prices of food in Uganda increased by 20.90 percent over the same period. Retail prices of staple foods generally followed seasonal patterns in October and November, increasing due to declining household and market stocks prior to the second season harvest. Across most monitored markets, prices of beans, maize grain, and cassava chips increased by 11 to 30 percent from August to November. High staple food prices and below-average seasonal income-earning continue to limit food access for many poor households.
Whilst the global food prices witnessed a sustained decline in the prices of agricultural commodities for the last 10 months of 2022, the prices of food in Uganda increased by 20.90 percent over the same period. Retail prices of staple foods generally followed seasonal patterns in October and November, increasing due to declining household and market stocks prior to the second season harvest. Across most monitored markets, prices of beans, maize grain, and cassava chips increased by 11 to 30 percent from August to November. Prices in November remained above the five-year average and prices recorded last year, driven by three consecutive seasons of below-average crop production (since the first season harvest of 2021), a typically high regional demand for Ugandan staples, and high transportation costs due largely by high fuel prices. High staple food prices and below-average seasonal income-earning continue to limit food access for many poor households.
In bimodal areas, localized green/dry second season harvests of mostly legumes and maize improved food availability in areas (mostly in southwestern, central, eastern, and parts of northern Uganda) in November and December. With the progression of harvesting in November/December, the number of households facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) or worse outcomes is expected to decline with further availability of seasonal food and income from crop production. However, due to overall below-average crop production following another poor rainfall season, most poor rural households stocked less than normal and accessed below-normal seasonal income from crop sales. Given this and above-average market prices, area-level Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected to persist throughout the first half of 2023 in many areas of the country.
IPC (Integrated Food Security Phase Classification) is an innovative multi-stakeholder initiative to improve analysis and decision-making on food security and nutrition.
In Unimodal rainfall pattern areas, like much of the Karamoja sub region, below- average household food stocks and above-average staple prices continue to constrain food access amid limited opportunities for income-earning. Across monitored Karamoja markets, prices of staple sorghum grain increased by 17 to 28 percent from October to November, reaching levels from 22 to 71 percent higher than prices recorded last year and the five-year average. Elevated prices are being driven by the below-average 2022 main harvest in Karamoja, below-average national production in 2022, delays in supplies from neighboring sub-regions reaching Karamoja, high prices of fuel, and general inflation in the country. Given high prices and below-average income-earning from typical activities including casual labor and sales of firewood, charcoal, and livestock, many poor households continue to be unable to meet their basic needs. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes persist in the region. The lean season is expected to begin early by March as more households exhaust below-average food stocks. As the lean season intensifies throughout the remainder of the projection period, an increasing number of households are expected to deteriorate to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes.
For the perennial crops in the bimodal areas, late-season rainfall in December improved cumulative totals for the September to December second rainy season. These rains were average to above average levels across most parts and it slightly improved production prospects for perennial crops (including cassava and sweet potatoes) and plantation crops (including bananas, coffee, sugar cane, and tea) that will be harvested in future months starting around the end of March with production of these crops expected to be near average at the national level. However, unusually above average rainfall in December and January, during the harvesting of legumes and cereals including maize and millet resulted in some (but limited) postharvest losses and high moisture content for the crops offered on the market. Though performance in the later part of 2022 was mixed, national-level production of these crops in the first season of 2023 is estimated to be better than the first season of 2022. It is however, also expected to be below average.
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