Africa > East Africa > Uganda > Uganda Agriculture Profile 2012

Uganda: Uganda Agriculture Profile 2012






Turkmenistan Agriculture Profile 2012

Reference Date: 23-May-2011



  1. Production prospects are favourable in the south and uncertain in the north

  2. An outbreak of Foot & Mouth Disease affect pastoral livelihoods in Karamoja region

  3. Maize prices stabilize at high levels

  4. Food security situation is generally satisfactory

Favourable outlook for 2011 main harvest in the south, but poor rains affect crops in the north

Harvesting of the 2011 “long rains” season crops in bimodal areas is expected to start in June. In southern districts, production prospects are favourable as rains started on time at the beginning of March and continued with average to above average amounts. By contrast, in most pastoral and agro-pastoral areas of northern and north-western Acholi and West Nile regions, early production prospects are poor following delayed plantings, by about two to three weeks, due to insufficient and erratic rains and soil moisture.

Uncertain prospects for 2011 crops in Karamoja

In uni-modal agricultural and agro-pastoral areas of Karamoja region, after a positive start of the rainy season in March, rains were quite erratic and are forecast at below-average levels until July. With such forecast, crop output, for harvest from September, is expected to be below average. A close monitoring of the remainder of the rainy season is therefore warranted.


Pasture conditions have generally improved in Karamoja region due to beneficial rains until mid-March, leading to better animal body conditions and milk production. However, the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease from last February has spread to several areas of the “cattle corridor”, causing the closure of livestock markets in Nakapiripirit and Amudat districts. This had a negative impact on pastoral livelihood and many have resorted to increased firewood and charcoal collection and sales as coping strategies to augment their income.

Maize prices stabilize at high levels

Prices of important staples like plantains (matoke), beans and cassava flour have been rising in recent months and as of April 2011 were 42, 33 and 7 percent up compared to a year ago, respectively. This reflects reduced outputs in previous months as well as heavy rains in April that caused localized crop damage and disrupted trade activities. Prices of maize, an important crop for export, were quite stable between March and May, but are currently about 95 percent higher than 12 months earlier mainly due to sustained import demand from neighbouring countries such as South Sudan and increasing fuel and transport costs. Generally, food prices are expected to decline soon as production of the first 2011 season harvest reaches main markets in June, replenishing stocks.

Food security is generally good, with some concerns for Acholi and Karamoja regions

The country is generally food secure following the good 2010 aggregate cereal production, which improved household food stocks, market supplies and income. According to the latest Integrated Food Security phase Classification (IPC) Analysis Report (March 2011), about 815 000 people are estimated to be moderately food insecure, essentially in Karamoja and Acholi regions. In these regions, the number of food vulnerable households may increase during next weeks if dry weather conditions persist in north and north-western districts and if livestock markets do not resume their activities in north-east districts.

06/12/2010  Good prospects for 2010 first season cereal crops
In bimodal areas, harvesting of the 2010 first season cereal crops is almost complete and production prospects are favourable following a generally positive rainy season. In fact, extended 2009 second season rains in February merged with an early onset of 2010 first season rains in March and resulted in widespread benefit for crops and pasture, especially in the central to south-western “cattle corridor”. Planting of the 2010 second season crops (to be harvested from November) is underway and production prospects are favourable. Some floods and landslides may occur with possible damage to infrastructure and crops.

In Karamoja region, adequate seasonal precipitation has improved conditions in agricultural and agro-pastoral areas. Harvesting of 2010 cereal and pulse crops has just started and production is expected to be above-average. “La Niña” phenomenon is expected to mitigate the effects of the October-December dry season, maintaining adequate rangeland conditions and reducing/delaying the need for livestock migrations to better pasture.
Maize prices continue to decline in main markets
Cereal prices started to decline by the end of 2009 when the bumper 2009 second season maize crop started to reach the main markets in bimodal areas and resulted in the in the early release of stocks by traders. In August 2010, maize was traded in Kampala wholesale market at USD 104 per tonne, some 70 percent less that the peak registered in December 2009 and 14 percent lower than the prices recorded in October 2007, just before the start of the food price crisis. Maize and sorghum prices are still higher in Karamoja region due to the succession of five poor harvests that failed to meet the local food demand, but are likely to decrease in the coming weeks with the arrival on markets of the newly harvested crops.
General improvement in food security, including in Karamoja
The country is generally food secure following the good first season crop production that improved household food stocks, market supplies and income. Food access has also improved in northern Uganda, although most of the local population remain moderately food insecure after displacement due to prolonged conflict. In Karamoja region, about 610 000 people are currently estimated to be moderately food insecure. However, with the imminent arrival on markets of the newly harvested 2010 good production, food assistance requirements are expected to decline significantly in Karamoja region until December 2010. This represents an important improvement compared to 12 months earlier when almost all of the population of Karamoja region was receiving food aid.
Uganda has substantial natural resources, including fertile soils, regular rainfall, sizable mineral deposits of copper, cobalt, gold, and other minerals, and recently discovered oil. Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy, employing over 80% of the work force. Coffee accounts for the bulk of export revenues.