Uganda Agricultural News and Research Digest – June 6th
Agricultural and Food Policy News
Mugasi starts work as NAADS boss
Dr. Sam Mugasi has today commenced work as the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) programme executive director. Mugasi, whose three year contract begins today June 4, 2012, replaces Dr. Silim Nahdy whose contract expired in October last year. Nahdy had served as executive director since the programme's inception in 2001. Mugasi has been working as the coordinator of the District Livelihoods Support Programme (DLSP), an agricultural project under the Ministry of Local Government.
Kenya doubles maize imports as stocks dwindle
Kenya doubled its maize imports from neighbouring countries in April in a bid to boost stock and stem rising prices, a new food security analysis report from the country’s Ministry of Agriculture says. The East African nation imported 339,323 90-kg bags of maize during the month, up from 148,860 bags in March. The imports mainly came from Tanzania and Uganda.
Uganda blames monetary policy for low government revenue
East African Business Week
With barely a month left to the end of the fiscal financial year, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) is finding it increasingly difficult to reduce the cumulative deficit. Mr. Richard Kamajugo, the Commissioner Customs at URA said one of the major reasons for the low levels of business experienced in April, and, hence, government revenue, was the tight monetary policy stance adopted by the Central Bank to curb inflation. Moreover, he added that a large part of Uganda’s GDP is not taxable. “Agriculture which forms the largest part of our GDP is largely not taxed because it is either free because it produces a large portion of what we all eat or because a large part of it is informal. While it contributes to the GDP, it doesn’t contribute to the base of taxation,” he said.
“Banana Aids” threatens social fabric on Idjwi island, DRC
More than half of mountainous South Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is infected by banana xanthomonas wilt (BXW), often referred to by farmers as “Banana AIDS”. The incurable disease is wiping out bananas and plantains grown at high altitudes and spreads easily. This article looks at the disease and how people are being affected on the island of Idjwi (population 230,000) in Lake Kivu. The socio-economic consequences of the epidemic are strongly felt as the inhabitants live almost exclusively from farming, and population pressure is a growing source of poverty.
Agricultural and food policy research
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The challenges of inclusive growth in Uganda
The World Bank
A recent World Bank study says that the most important channel to transform agriculture is through small farmers. Inclusive growth in Uganda includes transforming the labor force by making sure workers are formally educated and trained. The inclusive growth study also shows how location affects productivity; currently, 80 percent of the labor force is rural-based, while 90 percent of production is in urban areas.
The web-page has links to five reports from the study:
- A summary of the study entitled Uganda: Promoting Inclusive Growth
- A policy note on Poverty and Inequality Trends
- A policy note on Agriculture for Inclusive Growth
- A policy note on Integrating Leading and Lagging Areas
- A policy note on Planning for Uganda's Urbanization
Exploring differences in national and international poverty estimates: Is Uganda on track to halve poverty by 2015?
S Levine - Social Indicators Research, 2012
This paper explores causes of differences in estimates of poverty incidence in Uganda since the early 1990s as measured by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics and the World Bank. While both sets of estimates from the two organisations show a declining trend in poverty incidence there are important differences in the levels of poverty, the speed of the decline and the direction of change in the early 2000s. Methodological differences linked to the determination of the poverty line and adjustments for household composition are found to play a role. Assessing the effect of other potential causes is complicated by limitations in the World Bank’s meta-data.
Are food insecure smallholder households making changes in their farming practices? Evidence from East Africa
P Kristjanson, H Neufeldt, A Gassner, J Mango… - Food Security, 2012
We explore the relationship between farming practice changes made by households coping with the huge demographic, economic, and ecological changes they have seen in the last 10 years and household food security. We examine whether households that have been introducing new practices, such as improved management of crops, soil, land, water, and livestock (e.g. cover crops, micro-catchments, ridges, rotations, improved pastures, and trees) and new technologies (e.g. improved seeds, shorter-cycle and drought-tolerant varieties) are more likely to be food secure than less innovative farming households. Using data from a baseline household survey carried out in five sites and 700 households in four countries of East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia) across a range of agricultural systems and environments, this study contributes to the evidence base of what smallholders are doing to adapt to changing circumstances, including a changing climate.
Global stunting reduction target: Focus on the poorest or leave millions behind
Save the Children UK – briefing note, 2012
Today, 170 million children under five are stunted, meaning they are too short for their age and more likely to have poor cognitive development. The World Health Organization (WHO) proposed global target for a reduction in the number of children who are stunted. This briefing from Save the Children UK summarises the interim results of research into stunting trends, drawing out the policy implications for governments and the international community to achieve the target. The principal finding is that the income share of the poorest quintile of the population is an important driver of stunting -- income inequality is an important challenge in addressing child stunting. National nutrition policies and international organisations must ensure that inequalities are addressed by prioritising nutrition in rural areas and among the poorest groups in society. Policies that support a fairer distribution of national income, such as social protection policies, could play an important role in improving nutrition.