Uganda should stop blame the donor community for some of its problems. We have technical people who are capable of advising on the best policies for the people of Uganda. More often than not, Government has footd the line of the donors for the sake of their favours. Time is now to do what can help the country. There is demand for food in the region and may be Government cannot stop the flow of food to where prices are better. Much of the food talked about does not take 6 months to be grown meaning that in a financial year, as long as Government allocates funds to Government directed growing of food, there can be enough food locally as well as have surplus to sell out of the country. It is a scandal for Uganda to register famine given the land resources and the good climate as well as two rainy seasons. Government needs to come up with a strategy to see land which is private be used after some agreement with owners of the land. This pouring of money into private hands without any sound returns must be reversed. Let Government have technical people involved in supervision of growing of food in areas which are not being used by their owners and chances are that this practical approach will solve hunger and ever increasing food prices. Secondly, it is important for Government to invest into agro- processing industrialization to increase employment as well as add value to agricultural products hence get good returns form exports.
William Kituuka Kiwanuka
COMMODITY PRICES ENTER 2011 ON A HIGH
8 January 2011
2011 has kicked in with relatively high commodity prices perhaps due to the festive season excitement as traders lull with expectations of greater sales.
During the festive season most commodity prices rise due to increased consumer appetite, which in most cases exerts pressure on the few available supplies.
Indeed the pressure is carried into the early days of the New Year - January, which might explain the apparent high prices.
Pump prices moved on a high in the later part of December and are currently selling at an average of Shs3050 down up from Shs2920 in November.
This has also contributed to rising food prices as traders claim it is increasing the cost of doing business, especially on the side of transport.
The volatile exchange rate of the Shilling against the dollar is another of those reasons to explain the current high food prices.
The dollar on Monday hit the Shilling hard, forcing a market trade of between Shs2325 and Shs2330.
e fact that the dollar is the unit of choice for most international markets it affects local market activities as importers carry the effect on their markets by pricing their goods expensively.
However, prices are expected to relax in the coming days as a result of slowed activity due to the fact that people are saving money for the upcoming school term.a
The South Sudan referendum due tomorrow has also relaxed on the demand of food items from Uganda as traders hold back on trading in the country's business space due to fears of a violent outcome of the vote.
Regional trade experts have advised businesses to keep away from the country as they study the situation in the coming days.
About 30 per cent of food items in South Sudan markets are either produced or grown in Uganda.
Kenya is another of those countries with a tight trade relationship with South Sudan.
Uganda Business News: High demand for food stuffs has led to inflation
First published: 20060316 7:59:43 AM EST
The exportation of food crops such as posh, rice, beans and peas to other countries that are being affected by famine and drought has led to increase of prices for these food crops in local Uganda markets.
A 50 Kilograms of first class posh has increased from Uganda shillings 30,000, to Ug shillings 40,000 while the second class sack has risen from 22,000 to 32,000 shillings.
Also the price of the 100 Kilogram sack of rice has increased from 80, 000 Uganda shillings to 110,000 shillings while price of a 50kg sack of beans has increased from 35,000 to 55,000 shillings in some markets.
The Chairperson for Women in St Balikuddembe Market (popularly known as Owino market), Jacinto Nakayemba said that increase in prices is due to the long drought that caused famine in countries like Kenya.
Nakayemba, who was speaking to this reporter in Kampala today, said that the availability of market for food crops has forced many traders to take their produce to places where there is a scarcity hence hiking price for food stuffs in Uganda markets.
She said that the increase of food prices in Ugandas home markets has affected many people especially the poor people because posho and beans is their main food which they can manage to buy because it is usually cheaper than bananas and other food stuffs.
Nakayemba said that it is not the drought that has caused the food prices to increase but it is the market demand yet the food Uganda in Uganda is not enough for both home consumption and exportation purposes.
She appealed to the government to invest more funds in the Ministry of Agriculture so that it can boost the Agricultural Production through putting introducing irrigation that can help especially during the drought season. Nakayemba said that this is the most efficient way of ensuring that there is sustainable food production in Uganda.
Although over 90 percent of Ugandans depend on agriculture, the percentage share of agriculture on the national budget is below 5 percent. Nakayemba said that government has neglected the Ministry of Agriculture yet the people who are in it are rural peasants lack enough money to produce efficient food for the whole country.