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Covid has pushed more Ugandans into agriculture, says World Bank

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A number of Ugandans have moved into agriculture to survive the Covid-19 crisis.

Job losses and closure of small businesses due to Covid-19 related challenges has forced a number of Ugandans into agriculture, according to World Bank Country Manager Mr Tony Thompson.

However, he noted, this has created a lot of pressure on natural resources as people scramble for available land to manage and survive the Covid-19 crisis.

Speaking during the virtual release of the World Bank 17th Uganda Economic Update, Mr Thompson said: “Following job losses and closure of small businesses, many people [have] returned to agriculture and other natural resources dependent activities to manage and survive the crisis.

This has further strained natural resources, which were already under pressure from rapid population growth, urbanisation, refugee influx and the country’s drive for industrialisation.”
The World Bank noted that forests have been the worst hit with an average depletion of 2.6 per cent per annum.

Over the past 60 years Uganda’s forest cover has been declining at an annual rate of 2.6 per cent, which makes it one of the highest rates of forest loss globally.
This presents climate risks, among which include extreme weather exacerbated by natural capital degradation.

Therefore, the World Bank under the: From crisis to green resilient growth: Investing in sustainable land management and climate-smart agriculture report, noted that government must adopt sustainable land management to achieve inclusive economic and social growth.

During the meeting, Ms Rachel Sebudde, the World Bank senior economist and lead author of the report, said increased budgetary support and incentives towards uptake of sustainable management of land, climate and smart agriculture, must be adopted to streamline natural resource governance for consistency, comprehensiveness and effectiveness.

Ms Sebudde also noted that Covid-19 had presented a number of disruptions, which call for a multifaceted approaches such as stimulus packages and structural measures to sustainably increase productivity and build resilience to enhance livelihoods, the economy and general well-being of Ugandans.

At least 70 per cent of Ugandans, according to Uganda Bureau of Statistics, are involved in agriculture. However, the biggest percentage of this is in subsistence farming.

Ms Sebudde said the significant shift of Ugandans to agriculture in response to the crisis has heightened the urgency for the country to enhance sustainable use of land to check encroachment on forests, swamps and other vulnerable natural resources.

According to the World Bank, the combined impact of land degradation and unsustainable soil erosion, is estimated to cost Uganda 17 per cent of gross domestic product while environmental degradation causes a loss of 27 per cent to agricultural gross domestic product.

Therefore, the World Bank noted, there is need to streamline natural resource governance policies and institutions for consistency, comprehensiveness and effectiveness across all levels, suggesting that natural resource governance policies must be coherent and cross-sectoral coordinated through the green economy focused institutional arrangements and budgeting.

Uganda, the World Bank also noted, must strengthen the link between national, local, and community-based institutions to effectively close the gap between policy and implementation to effectively accommodate customary land tenure and open access to land to a broader set of actors.

Original Source: Daily Monitor

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MAAIF lifts livestock quarantine in Nakaseke after two years

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Nakaseke, Uganda  The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries-MAAIF has lifted quarantine restrictions on Nakaseke district exciting local leaders and pastoralists.

In 2019, the ministry imposed quarantine restrictions on Ngoma, Kinoni sub-counties and Ngoma town council following the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).

The ministry prohibited the movement of cattle, goats, sheep, pigs and their products from, to, through, and within the affected areas as prescribed by the Animal Diseases Act. The quarantine left pastoralists and local leaders crying foul over loss of revenue.

Dr Anna Rose Ademun, the Commissioner of Animal Health in the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries has written to Nakaseke Chief Administrative Officer and other leaders informing them that the quarantine has been lifted.

According to her letter dated 29th July this year, Ademun said that due to increased community awareness about FMD and the strategic ring vaccinations carried in the affected areas, the disease has been controlled.

She added laboratory results of the sampled animals from the sub-counties under movement restrictions have also proved the same.

Ademun said that the quarantine has been lifted but on conditions that all livestock markets remain closed as per the Presidential directives on the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 pandemic and animals must be sold on farms with knowledge of veterinary officers as well as LCI chairman.

She also ordered that the animals must move on trucks only for slaughter purposes and should adhere to all FMD bio security measures.

Dr Lawrence Kisule, the Principal Veterinary Officer of Nakaseke district has confirmed a copy of the letter and said they are going to disseminate information to leaders in affected areas.

Kisule says that on Friday he is expecting to receive 10,000 doses to vaccinate heads of cattle in other sub-counties that include Kito, Kapeeka and Kinyogogga in the fight against FMD.

Kisule added that they are going to communicate fresh guidelines to pastoralists aimed at avoiding fresh outbreaks of the FMD.

Nayebare Kyamuzigita the Nakaseke Resident District Commissioner also asked pastoralists and veterinary officers to exercise responsibility so as not to plunge the area into a second quarantine.

Nayebare said although most veterinary officers had exercised professionalism, there is one who they are hunting for issuing illegal movement permits to cattle traders something that may lead to a fresh outbreak of the disease.

Fred Rwabirinda, the District Secretary for Production says that following the quarantine, each month, the local governments have been losing more than 11 million shillings from cattle markets.

Rwabirinda adds that this had crippled service delivery in the local governments as well as the district.

Sam Mubiru, a pastoralist in Ngoma town council says that residents in the affected areas depend mainly on selling animals and their products but the ban plunged them into abject poverty and this was worsened after imposing another lockdown over COVID 19.

Mubiru added that the lifting of the ban was timely because many of them had run out of options for survival.

Both leaders and residents say they are happy that the Ministry has lifted the ban to enable the pastoralists to earn a living, as well as local governments, to get local revenue.

Original Source: URN Via independent.co.ug

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Kabale banana farmers battle bacterial wilt again

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The disease is spread from an infected plant to another through sharing the same farm implements. It can also be transmitted by insects.

Farmers from Kaharo and Maziba sub-counties in Kabale District are battling a fresh outbreak of banana bacterial wilt.

The outbreak comes barely five years ago after a similar occurrence ravaged banana plantations in Kabale and neighbouring districts of Ntungamo, Mbarara, Rukungiri, Bushenyi and Isingiro.

The disease, which mainly attacks plants past the maiden sucker stage, is characterized by yellowing and complete wilting of leaves.

The LC5 councillor for Kaharo Sub- county, Mr. Gracious Kabeth Tumwine,  at the weekend said most of the affected farmers are from Kaharo, Bugarama and Katenga  parishes.

Mr Tumwine said farmers have  no other option but to destroy the affected suckers.

“We find it difficult to fight the wilt because some of our farmers are not following what agricultural extension workers told us,” Mr Tumwine said.

Mr Ben Kyokwijuka, a farmer from  Maziba, said the disease was spreading rapidly and is threatening the livelihood of residents.

Mr Kyokwijuka said it is resistant to pesticides, adding that the area is likely to face  food shortage.

He added that the disease also has been cited in Kahondo, Karweru and Kavu parishes.

The Kaharo chairman,  Mr Edmond Tumwesigye, said the political leadership was working with the sub-county agriculture extension workers to ensure that the disease is eradictated.

Mr Tumwesigye said they have also started sensitising residents about better farming practices.

The district principal agriculture officer, Mr Deus Bagambana Baguma, asked farmers to comply with the control measures put in place by agriculture extension workers  such as cutting down all the affected plants.

“It is unfortunate that bacteria wilt is coming again in the district but the simple management is that once a farmer identifies an infected banana in his plantation, he should cut the affected part of the banana sucker and then sanitise the tools used or put them in fire so that the disease is not spread to other plantations,” Mr Baguma said.

The district chairperson, Mr Nelson Nshangabasheija, urged farmers to implement the advice from technical personnel if they want to stop the wilt.

Original Source: Daily Monitor

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Uganda coffee exports hit 30-year record

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Ripe coffee

Kampala, Uganda. Uganda exported a record 6.08 million coffee bags in the financial year 2020-2021, the highest total for 12 months in 30 years. Exports for FY20/21 were also worth $559m compared to 5.11m bags worth $496m in FY19/20.

The figures were boosted by June’s 618,388 bags worth US$ 58.56m, which is also the highest in a single month. June exports had an increase of 47% in quantity and value compared to the previous month, with Robusta figures shooting up, while Arabica slowing.

According to a monthly statement from the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), increasing Robusta exports during the month compared to the previous year were due to newly planted coffee which started yielding supported by favourable weather.

UCDA says this was also compounded by a positive trend in global coffee prices in the last two weeks of the month which prompted exporters to release their stocks on top of increased procurement.

The biggest consumer of Ugandan coffee in June was Italy that maintained the highest market share with 34.57% compared with 37.02% last month.

Year 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20  2020/21
Volume (60-kg bag in million) 3.24 3.56 4.2 4.5 4.4 5.11 6.08

 

Value (US$ millions)  $403 $352 $490 $492 $433.95 $496 $559

 

It was followed by Germany 13.11% (14.36%), India 9.52% (5.00%) Sudan 7.81% (4.04%) and Algeria 6.28% (5.80%).

Coffee exports to Africa amounted to 112,416 bags, a market share of 18% compared to 69,349 bags (14%) the previous month. African countries included Sudan, Morocco, Kenya, Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia and South Africa. Europe remained the main destination for Uganda’s coffees with a 61% imports share.

Arabica coffee declines

The decrease in value of Arabica coffee was due to low volumes exported. Arabica monthly exports continued to reduce compared to the previous year attributed to the off-year biennial cycle characteristic of Arabica production.

June’s 618,388 60-kilo bags exports comprised 565,449 bags of Robusta valued at US $ 50.25 million and 52,939 bags of Arabica valued at US$ 8.31 millionThis was an increase of 47.04% and 46.63 % in quantity and value respectively compared to the same month last yea.

By comparing quantity of coffee exported by type in the same month of last Coffee Year (June 2020), Robusta increased by 63.89% and 72.56% in quantity and value respectively, while Arabica exports decreased in both quantity and value by 29.93% and 23.16% respectively.

Farm-gate prices for Robusta Kiboko averaged UGX 2,250 per kilo; FAQ UGX 4,350 per kilo, Arabica parchment UGX 6,650 per kilo and Drugar UGX 5,750 per kilo

Sustainable Arabica fully Washed Sipi Falls fetched the highest price at $5.37 per kilo.

In terms of leading coffee exporters, Ugacof (U) Ltd led the highest market share with 19.86%, followed by Ideal Quality 10.81%, Olam Uganda 10.15, Touron 7.44, Kawacom 6.24, Louis Drefyus 5.90 and Kyagalanyi Coffee Ltd 5.6%

READ FULL REPORT >>>>June 2021 coffee

Original Source: Independent.co.ug

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