Be wary of soaring global food prices

Prices of groceries shoot through the roof

What you need to know:

  • When you plan your meals in advance, you’re more likely to just buy the things you need. If planning is not your thing, at least go buying with a rough idea of what you will be cooking and avoid impulse purchases.

A senior World Bank official called for more support for poor people globally on Thursday as the war in Ukraine sends food prices soaring.

Mari Pangestu, the World Bank’s managing director for development policy, warned that it’s not so much about food availability but prices.

Besides foreign aid cuts and fuel prices, it’s difficult to explain to an ordinary Ugandan toiling with sweat how the war in Ukraine affects them.

The soaring price of food will now hammer the point home. Recently, Uganda’s concerns have centred on the price of soap.

While there was an astronomical jump in soap prices, the price of the basic foods we carry home is rising too.

In fact, all food prices are now predicted to increase between 4.5 per cent and 5.5 per cent between now and the end of the year, according to many organisations.

Additionally, food prices climbed 7.9 percent for the year ending in February 2022. The alarm bells ought to be sounded in many homes and by the government.

Uganda has had a long dry spell over the past six months that has seen decline in farm produce.

The past week has seen the return of rains and if you travel to the countryside, you will see a lot of planting activities.

In their outlook published on their website last week, the Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) forecast that there will be “near normal and above normal (enhanced) rainfall” during this month.

Perhaps, we need longer forecasts than monthly updates going forward. In addition, there is a need to find more ways of mitigating the supply shortfalls beyond depending on rainfall. Irrigation remains a critical area that requires more investment to enable farmers to produce all year round.

In addition, storage facilities must be improved so that farmers can keep some of their harvest during bumper seasons to prepare for bad ones.

All these are long-term solutions along with planting high yield crops. In the short run, tighten your belts with the tried-and-true technique where you have to edit your shopping list to save money along the way.

When you plan your meals in advance, you are more likely to just buy the things you need. If planning’s not your thing, at least go buying with a rough idea of what you will be cooking and avoid impulse purchases.

When it comes to the rest of the items on your list, you can save more by buying in bulk as families or friends.

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