Africa Newsletter 07-23-19

Africa News


After the duty-free maize import period was cancelled by the agriculture minister, the price jumped sharply, by an average of Kshs 200 per 90kg bag for the farmers who still have inventory to sell.

This year’s harvest will begin next month, and most farmers are anticipating a good price despite a bumper harvest, as the country will need to refill depleted reserves.

This would depend on the legal status of Ugandan and Tanzanian imports, however, as their harvests are expected to come just before Kenya’s, and a surge in imports could depress prices.


The dry season has begun for most of the country, which has raised concerns about a potential impact on this year’s harvest, as crops in many areas were planted later than usual amid a very wet end to this year’s rainy season.


The harvest is underway with maize coming into Mubende at UGX 800 per kg but still of high moisture while dryer maize in Kampala is quoted at UGX 1,050 per kg. The season will be going into September as maize prices are expected to fall to as low as UGX 700 per kg. Local traders are looking at Kenya for market even with the conflicting reports on maize prices there and whether or not the Kenyan governments will remove a waiver to allow more imports. Soybeans are currently quoted between UGX 1,700 per kg and UGX 1,750 per kg. Soybeans continue to be in demand from Kenya and Rwanda.

South Korea donates 5,000 tonnes of rice to refugees

South Korea has donated 5,000 metric tonnes of rice valued at $5 million (about Shs18.7 billion) to feed refugees in Uganda. The same quantity was donated last year. Uganda currently hosts 1.27 million refugees who use 16,000 metric tonnes of food every month and this costs $15 million (about UGX 55.5 billion).

Friction over Ugandan bill to streamline coffee exports

A bill before the Ugandan parliament which seeks to streamline the coffee sector has created friction between government and stakeholders. The National Coffee Bill 2018, currently before the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, seeks to regulate on-farm and off-farm activities within the coffee value chain by issuing licences to farmers and traders. According to the Bill, all commercial farmers with more than 50 trees are to be registered. Counted among the opposition are the National Agricultural Research Organisation and the National Coffee Research Institute. In an appearance before the Committee last week, they testified that the registration will push out small scale farmers. Uganda is the second largest exporter of coffee in Africa at 288,000 tonnes behind Ethiopia, which is at 384,000 tonnes.