Africa Newsletter 10-28-19
East Africa Update
Kenya Maize shortage fears as rainfall delays harvests
Heavy rains pounding most parts of the country have delayed harvesting of maize in the North Rift, Kenya’s breadbasket, in what could worsen the national food security situation.
Maize is ready for harvest in Trans-Nzoia and Uasin Gishu counties but the heavy rains have hindered harvesting. Farmers’ lobby groups have warned of massive losses for their members this season, saying any damage could negatively impact on the national stock, which is projected to fall short of last year’s production by 10 million bags.
Uganda Market Update
Rains have continued throughout the country as growers prepare for the upcoming long season. Traders are holding some of the maize stock from this past short season and is currently quoted at UGX 1,050 per kg ex Kampala. Maize buyers have received stocks that have higher moisture content than expected and so there has been a number of rejections.
Sesame seed growers are currently harvesting for their new crop and are quoting UGX 4,500 per kg delivered to Kampala. Groundnuts in Kampala are being quoted from UGX 3,300 per kg (origin Soroti) to UGX 3,500 per kg (origin Mubende).
Uganda’s ‘inadequate’ agriculture
Uganda’s expenditure on agriculture, at 2.8 per cent, is East Africa’s lowest but it could affect the sector’s productivity and in the long run put the country in a position where it cannot even feed itself, let alone have a surplus to export to the region. In recent years, Uganda became a net exporter of food to the rest of East Africa, with maize, beans, soya bean, sesame seeds, groundnuts and tea high on the list of foodstuffs exported to neighboring countries, especially South Sudan and Kenya.
Zambia, DR Congo ink deal to export maize
The Zambian government said it had signed a deal to export to 600,000 metric tonnes of maize to the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo from next year. Zambia’s Agriculture Minister Michael Katambo said the deal signed in Lusaka between the two governments will also cover other commodities. Both DR Congo and Zambia are members of SADC and COMESA trading blocs.