IFPRI Uganda Strategy Support Program’s weekly news digest – week of Oct 7th 2013
This weekly collection of recent news articles related to agriculture in Uganda is compiled from online news sources. We also include links to recent publications on agricultural and policy-related research topics pertinent to Uganda.
In news this week, big agriculture likes big data, the state of food insecurity in the world and cooperative movement's centennial celebrations. There is also news on how sweet potatoes, beans perform miracles for Buyende children and a gender policy brief for Uganda's agriculture sector.
Under agricultural and food policy related research, we provide links to papers on:
- Spread of Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum in banana plants: implications for management of banana Xanthomonas wilt disease
- Women’s and girls’ benefits from market-oriented agriculture in Uganda
- Marketing Margins and Efficiency of Cooking Banana Retail Trade in Kampala City, Uganda
New York Times
Accurate data is now vitally important to the operations of large agricultural conglomerates: Monsanto has just paid $930 million in cash for a company which looks at data like historic rainfall and soil quality to help farmers predict crop yields. Monsanto hopes to apply the Climate Corporation’s data analysis insight across the company, to create what a Monsanto executive called “the next level of agriculture.”
The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2013 presents updated estimates of undernourishment and progress towards the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) and World Food Summit (WFS) hunger targets. The latest assessment shows that further progress has been made towards the 2015 MDG target, which remains within reach for the developing regions as a whole, although marked differences across regions persist and considerable and immediate additional efforts will be needed.
The cooperative movement has been in Uganda for a century now. And during that time, it has been through good and bad times. Here is a perspective on why cooperatives are still relevant.
New Vision will, until October 3, publish articles on individuals and organisations that have dedicated their efforts to fighting malnutrition in the country, a problem that affects up to 54% of children under 18 in Uganda.
Forum for Women and Democracy
This policy brief presents an analysis of gender issues in the agriculture sector in Uganda; highlights the efforts so far made by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) in addressing these issues; constraints that hinder engendering of the agriculture sector and makes policy recommendations for improvement.
Scovia Adikini, Fen Beed, Geoffrey Tusiime, Leena Tripathi, Samuel Kyamanywa, Melanie Lewis-Ivey & Sally A. Miller - Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology
Banana Xanthomonas wilt (BXW) caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum (Xcm) is a devastating disease of bananas in Uganda and across the Great Lakes region of East and Central Africa. While use of disease-free suckers is recognised as important to control BXW, bacterial movement from infected mother plants to their suckers is not well understood. In this study, the movement of Xcm through the pseudostem of naturally and artificially infected bananas was examined. In naturally infected plants, samples of plant organs collected from susceptible cultivars ‘Kayinja’, ‘Nfuuka’ and Kivuuvu’ (Musa acuminata) at various stages of disease were analysed using a polymerase chain reaction assay employing Xcm specific primers. Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum was detected in 70% of asymptomatic corms and suckers collected from each of the three susceptible cultivars. In ‘Kayinja’ and ‘Nakitembe’, Xcm was recovered from plant parts 20 cm away from the point of inoculation prior to symptom development. The population of Xcm was variable within and among the plant parts over time, with the highest number being recorded in the inoculated region for all cultivars. No disease was observed seven days after inoculation of the Xcm-resistant wild species M. balbisiana and Xcm was restricted to the point of inoculation. This study implies that by the time wilt symptoms are expressed, Xcm has migrated from the point of entry to most parts of the plants. Use of suckers from infected plants should be restricted as they are likely to be latently infected and could thus result in disease when transplanted.
Emilie Combaz – GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 998
What approaches have been successful in ensuring that women and girls benefit from market-oriented agriculture and agribusiness projects? Draw on evidence from Uganda and, failing that, from Kenya and Tanzania. Where possible, examine: key challenges facing women’s increased productivity and successful responses to them; women’s access to higher return and non-farm activities and its impact on income and poverty; the benefits of and approaches to non-farm activities related to the agricultural value chain; key channels and interventions for transmission of identified benefits; intervention components or complementary interventions critical to success; interventions that have not worked, failed to include or negatively impacted women.
Stephen W. Kalule & Joseph L. Kyanjo - International Journal of Sales & Marketing Management Research and Development
Cooking bananas like many other food crops in Uganda have experienced consumer price hike threatening poor and urban consumers’ dietary diversity and food security. Unfortunately, little research attention has been paid to the demand side of this stapple’s supply chain and there is hardly any study that has examined its marketing system performance. Using a sample of 80 representative retail traders, the study examined marketing margins and efficiency of small and big size banana bunches. Results revealed that the banana retail trade was highly inefficient. However, the inefficiency was more felt in trading small size banana bunches than big ones. OLS results on the other hand showed that marketing efficiency was significantly reduced by marketing costs though significantly improved by the scale of operation. The study recommended that provision of policy incentives such as low interest credit to retail traders as way of encouraging business expansion and backward market integration.