By Ronald Ssekandi KAMPALA
Uganda (Xinhua) -- The Ugandan
government on Tuesday warned that its population was
slipping into the food insecure phase due to the
prolonged dry spell that has led to crop failure.
In a new
report launched here dubbed National Food Security
Assessment, an estimated 69 percent of the country’s
population is minimally food insecure.
households still have food stocks from the second
harvest that are expected to last for the next two to
three months,” the report launched by Prime Minister
Ruhakana Rugunda said in part.
also showed that 26 percent of the total population is
facing stressed food insecurity meaning that the
population just has enough food and is unable to afford
some essential food expenditures.
showed that 10.9 million people in the country are
experiencing acute food insecurity situation, of which
1.6 million are in a crisis situation.
security across the country is deteriorating. The
current food insecurity situation, when compared with
the last two reports of November 2015 and July 2016
shows an increase in the percentage of the country’s
population that is in Phase 2 (stress level of food
security),” the report showed.
It said the
increasing demand for food in external markets and the
influx of South Sudan refugees into Uganda has worsened
the situation where by the poor households cannot afford
food from the market.
the government has earmarked 25 billion shillings (7.1
million U.S. dollars) to purchase relief food for the
food stressed population.
(government) is in the process of procuring 6,000 metric
tonnes of maize floor and 1,400 metric tonnes of beans.
Deliveries of relief food to populations severely
affected in Karamoja, Teso, Bukedi and the cattle
corridor is on-going,” he said at the function attended
by donor agencies and diplomats.
Ssempijja, minister for agriculture said government has
procured seeds to distribute to the population now that
the rains have started. He warned the population to use
the food they have sparingly.
is working with development partners to ensure that we
are not going to reach emergency and famine,” he said.
the World Bank, it will give Uganda 14 billion shillings
(4 million dollars) under the cash for work program in
the semi-arid region of Karamoja to enable the
population to use the money they have earned to purchase
170,000 Ugandans can benefit and another 130,000
Ugandans are already supported through the ongoing
initiative,” Christina Malmberg Calvo, the World Bank
Country Manager said.
She said the
bank will fund other activities aimed at boosting
minister of relief disaster preparedness and refugees,
said the government is now going to concentrate on
sustainable measures to avoid a repeat of such food
the measures as increased use of irrigation as opposed
to depending on rain fed agriculture. Government will
improve on post-harvest handling noting that farmers
lose up to 40 percent of their harvest due to poor
Crop destroying worms
KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) --
The Ugandan government on Tuesday
announced an outbreak of crop-destroying worms in the
east African country.
Ssempijja, minister of agriculture, while speaking at
the launch of the country’s food security situation
report urged farmers to remain calm as measures are
being sought to fight the worms.
prepared early enough and our teams have been deployed
to assess the outbreak and define the necessary control
actions,” Ssempijja said.
the state owned New Vision daily, the unknown strain of
worms have been identified in at least 20 districts that
are known for maize production.
according to the paper, are carrying out research on
whether the unknown strain is the same as the fall
armyworm that has ravaged farms in at least eight
derive their name from the habit of marching in large
numbers like an army, as they search for food. The pests
eat leaves and stems, leaving only rickety stalks and
brown residue as they move from one crop to another.
armyworms come to Uganda as the country is suffering the
effects of a long dry spell that led to crop failure
causing a food crisis.
that if there is no immediate action, the worms may
exacerbate the food crisis as they destroy crops.
armyworm is a relatively new pest from the Americas,
whose presence on the African continent was first
reported in Sao Tome and Principe around January 2016,
according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
says the pest is known to cause extensive crop losses of
up to 73 percent depending on existing conditions and is
difficult to control with a single type of pesticide,
especially when it has reached an advanced larval