Staple food prices in Uganda

Uganda is a densely populated, landlocked country in the East African highlands with a population of about 32 million people and a population density of 133 people per square kilometer. Although generally equatorial, Uganda’s climate is not uniform. Temperature and rainfall varies with altitude and across regions. The southern part of Uganda is more rainy, and the rainfall is generally spread throughout the year. On the northern shore of Lake Victoria, the rain falls from March to June and from November to December. In the southwest, on the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it rains heavily all year round. The northeastern region has the driest climate and is prone to droughts in some years. Annual rainfall ranges between 500 mm in the northeast and 1300 mm in the southwest. Uganda's economy suffered from political turmoil and devastating economic policies during the Idi Amin regime of the 1970’s. Political instability persisted through the mid-1980’s, leaving Uganda as one of the world's poorest countries. Since then, peace has returned to the majority of the country, although sporadic rebellion continued in the north until 2009. The country instituted a comprehensive economic reform program during the 1990s, leading to a strong recovery. In 2008, Uganda recorded 9.5% growth despite the global downturn and regional instability. While agriculture accounted for 56% of the economy in the mid 80s, with coffee as its main export, currently it only accounts about 23% of gross domestic product (World Bank, 2009). However, agriculture still plays an important role, directly or indirectly providing a livelihood to almost 90 percent of the population. Agricultural production based primarily on small-scale agriculture remains a mainstay of the economy. Uganda's main food crops have been plantains, cassava, maize, sweet potatoes, millet, sorghum, beans, and groundnuts. Major cash crops include coffee, cotton, tea, and tobacco.

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q11; q13; q17; q18
Prepared for the Comesa policy seminar on “Variation in staple food prices: Causes, consequence, and policy options”, Maputo, Mozambique, 25-26 January 2010 under the African Agricultural Marketing Project (AAMP)
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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