Poor agricultural season costs Uganda Shs260b

Friday August 2 2019

Failure. WFP says it is envisaging failure to

Failure. WFP says it is envisaging failure to raise targeted food supply this year. PHOTO BY EDGAR R BATTE  

By Christine Kasemiire

Ugandan farmers have failed to meet the 200,000 metric tonnes of produce needed by World Food Programme (WFP) this year.
Speaking to journalists early this week, Mr El Khidir Daloum, the WFP country director, said the market has failed to efficiently supply WFP, forcing them to procure from other markets such as Tanzania and South Africa, among others.
“This year, our target was 200,000 metric tonnes but because of the season, we shall not reach the target, hopefully the rains have improved and it will result into a better [yields] starting September,” he said.
Having spent $60m on 198,000 metric tonnnes during the bumper harvest last year, WFP had this year set aside $70m (Shs260b) to buy produce from farmers in Uganda.
In its initiative to contribute to the economy, WFP had designated at least 10 per cent of its procurement for small holder farmers which is proving futile.
“This year, we would like to have a target of 200,000 metric tonnes, so about 20,000 should be bought directly from small holder farmers but it has proved difficult,” he said.
The challenge, he said is the lack of coordination between farmers because most of them are stand-alone associations or farm groups.
WFP is now seeking for collaboration between different government ministries in charge of trade, agriculture and finance, in a bid to aggregate farmers to achieve reliable supplies.
Mr Dick Kamuganga, the Uganda National Farmers’ Federation President, said the season has not been good because of unpredictable weather. However, he called for concerted efforts to empower farmers.
The discussion was on the sidelines of a handover ceremony of 53 Kamaz trucks, (Russian manufacturer) and 10 trailers from the Russian Federation to the WFP.
The trucks, Mr Daloum said, will be instrumental in delivering food assistance to places that the private sector cannot reach because of resource constraints or lack of business viability.
The move is part of the Russian global contribution of 97 trucks and 30 trucks estimated to cost $10.6m (Shs39b) which brings the country’s total Kamaz vehicle contribution to $33.8m(Shs125b) for the last 13 years.

Timely
Critical Interventions: According to Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Hillary Onek, interventions at whatever level are timely to boost WFP’s operation capacity to quickly respond to those in need, especially in challenging areas.

Truck donation
The discussion was on the sidelines of a handover ceremony of 53 Kamaz trucks, (Russian manufacturer) and 10 trailers from the Russian Federation to the WFP.
The trucks, according to Mr Daloum, will be instrumental in delivering food assistance to places that the private sector cannot reach because of resource constraints or lack of business viability.
The donation is part of the Russian global contribution of 97 trucks and 30 trucks estimated to cost $10.6m (Shs39b) which brings the country’s total Kamaz vehicle contribution to $33.8m(Shs125b) for the last 13 years.

Advertisement