Africa Newsletter 09-05-19

Africa News



Grain and pulses prices remained flat over the past two weeks with maize within the 3,000 Ksh/90kg range as imports from Uganda and Tanzania arrived in markets. The NCPB is selling stores to millers at 2,700 Ksh/90 Kgs bag while procuring maize from the current harvesting season.

Pulses prices have remained high due to the fact that the current crop did not do as expected.


There are prospects that the coming short rains will be well distributed starting mid October to late December.


The weather in Uganda has not been favourable to the growers of maize and soybeans as the rains have continued well into September which has forced prices for staple crops to remains high. Maize is currently trading between UGX 880-900 per kg even though there remains more grain in the growing areas for the market. Moisture content has continued to be a poblem for animal feed producers and millers who do not have dryers. There are small volumes of low moisture grain. Soybean fields have seen losses as the rains have made it difficult to harvest and dry. Soybeans is trading at UGX 1,680-1,700 per kg delivered Kampala.

SADC members face food shortage

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has a food shortage with an overall decline in food production. According to Domingos Gove, the SADC secretariat director for agriculture, food and natural resource, only Zambia and South Africa have adequate food supplies in their granaries.The most affected countries are Zimbabwe, Mozambique, eSwatini, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Maize accounts for 80 per cent of the cereal production in southern Africa. Other important cereals are wheat, sorghum, millet and rice. Only seven per cent of cultivated land is irrigated.

Why Museveni declined to sign GMO Bill again

President Museveni has for the second time declined to sign into law the National Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill 2012, arguing that there is need to consider safeguarding the ordinary Ugandan. Mr Museveni first rejected the Bill in December 2017 and it took Parliament almost a full year to reconsider it before passing it with adjustments on November 28 last year. The Bill seeks to provide a regulatory framework that facilitates the safe development and application of biotechnology, research, development and release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The President hinted that the Bill in its current form promotes commercial interests being driven by the private sector henceignoring the need to protect the ordinary Ugandans from potential harm on health matters.