There are certain aspects of governance that is still weak in Uganda, as the Food Insecurity in major parts of the Republic is still high. The knowledge of the Famine and lacking food in big regions of the Cattle Corridor and Northern Uganda; the pastoral areas have been hit hard after the El Nino and the draught. This has left many small-farmers behind and left their crop to die on the fields. This as the lacking irrigation and building of proper wells has also stopped the constant use of water. Therefore what the Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja, the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries has some words to say. Here are the important aspects of the findings of the Ministry and how the lacking levels of food is reported from him.
Falling Crop Levels:
“The Food Security Analysis done by MAAIF in collaboration with other stakeholders in July 2016 indicated that at national level, the country experienced an average crop loss of approximately 40% for pulses (beans, groundnuts, peas) and 80% for cereals (maize, millet, rice, sorghum) from the first season harvests. The most affected crop was maize”(Ssempijja, P2, 2017).
“Colleagues the latest Food Security situation (2nd November, 2016) that was a result of rigorous scientific analysis indicated that the most affected areas are the districts that lie in the cattle corridor, stretching from North Eastern up to South-Western Uganda. This information was later confirmed by the follow up of the National Food Security Awareness Campaign that was undertaken by Inter-ministerial teams led by Cabinet ministers and/or Ministers of State and coordinated by the Prime Minister in late November 2016. The sub regions of Karamoja, Teso, Lango, Acholi, Bukedi, West Nile, Parts of Busoga and most districts along the Cattle Corridor including lsingiro, Kiruhura, Rakai, Ssembabule witnessed massive crop failure, leading to little or no harvest. This has resulted into the food crisis we are experiencing” (Ssempijja, P: 3, 2017).
Market Price on Food on the rise:
“Harvests of cereals, Matooke, bananas, cassava, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes and beans are on markets but the supply is low and the demand both domestically and regionally (Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi, Southern Sudan, DRC-Congo, Tanzania, and Central African Republic) is high. Market prices for all food commodities have increased” (Ssempijja, P: 3, 2017).
Current affected areas with mass food insecurity:
“The current estimates however, indicate that 25% of the population in lsingiro District are in an emergency phase of food insecurity; meaning they access half a meal or nothing at all in a day” (…) “65% of the population in Karomoja sub region are in a crisis phase of food insecurity; meaning they access one meal or half a meal in a day” (…) “35% of the population in the districts of Katakwi, Amuria, Kumi, Bukedia, parts of Serere and Kaberamaido are in the same phase with Karamoja sub region (Crisis); meaning they access one meal or half a meal in a day” (…) “50% of the people of Koboko, Yumbe, Moyo, Maracha, Arua, Zombo.Nebbi, Adjumani, Amuru, Nwoya, Gulu, Pader, Lamwo, Kitgum, Agago, Soroti, Ngora, Amolatar, Pallisa, Buteleja, Rakai, lsingiro and Tororo are in a stressed pahse of food insecurity; meaning they access one and half meals in a day” (…) “the total population that was in need of relief food, as of November, 2016 stood at about 1,300,000 people (the sub regions of Karamoja, Teso , Lango, Acholi, Bukedi, West Nile, Parts of Busoga, lsingiro, Bukomansimbi, and Kalungu)” (Ssempijja, P: 5, 2017).
Allocated funds to Food Security:
“Note the need to continue providing Food relief by the Ministry of Disaster preparedness costed at 52.65 billion to the affected families, this was already alluded to by the District Local governments during the recently concluded food security awareness campaigns” (…) “Note the need to re-allocate and frontload funds from the NAADS Secretariat/OWe equivalent to UGX 26.63 Billion to avail quick maturing food security planting materials such as: maize, beans, cow peas, cassava and banana suckers to rehabilitate destroyed plantations (especially to farmers in lsingiro district) in season one of 2017 as soon as the rains are established” (Ssempijja, P: 9, 2017).
The regions that are hit says a lot of the lacking resources and the government programs that are supposed to control, the worst hit areas are still in Isingiro and Karamoja regions. The other ones those are also hit, but not as bad in Katakwi, Amuria, Kumi, Bukedia, Serere and Kaberamaido. These shows the level of food insecurity, but the final number dropped from the Minister shows the amount of people who are need of food relief, they we’re 1,300,000 people. That is the people of the Republic. This is happening as the food prices are souring as the food insecurity is happening in the nations around Uganda. So they are not in a secure vacuum, the need of food relief around Uganda is also growing.
Therefore the draught and death of the pastoral farming is showing the lack of government support to crisis. Certainly there are needed allocations and institutions to bring the needed relief and also revive the agricultural use of water and also systems to secure the citizens. This is what the Ugandan Government is missing. To keep food stocks and secure that the citizens, the farmers are sufficiently harvesting and securing their fields for any sort of changes. Peace.
Ssempijja, Vincent Bamulangaki – ‘Statement on the Food Security Situation in the Country’ (09.01.2017)