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Above-average June-July rainfall anticipated to reduce crop production deficits

  • Key Message Update
  • Uganda
  • July 2019
Above-average June-July rainfall anticipated to reduce crop production deficits

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Across bimodal areas, food availability has increased with the ongoing harvest, which commenced in late June. Above-average rainfall in June and July has substantially improved crop yields. However, atypically heavy rainfall in localized areas in Eastern Region destroyed some crops and property and elevated the risk of post-harvest losses. It is now estimated that bimodal crop production is more likely to be approximately 30 percent below average, compared to earlier estimates of 30 to 50 percent below average. As household food stocks are replenished, the proportion of poor households experiencing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes in bimodal areas of concern in Eastern and Northern Regions is expected to decline.

    • In Karamoja, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes prevail due to low food availability and access. However, the region received atypically moderate to heavy rainfall amounts during June and July, a period usually marked by dry spells. This increased wild food availability and improved cropping and pasture conditions to average and above average levels, respectively, leading to an increase in income earning opportunities in some areas. Conversely, localized areas are experiencing transient water-logging unfavorable for crop growth. Sorghum prices remained significantly above the five-year and 2018 averages in June, though prices tended to remain stable or decline compared to May in most markets. Prices continued to rise in Moroto and Kotido, climbing to 32 and 34 percent above the 2018 average, respectively, and 108 and 32 percent above the five-year average, respectively.

    • Staple food prices in bimodal areas across the country peaked in May and began to decline in June with the arrival of new harvests, as increased supplies are reaching deficit areas. Retail bean prices declined 13-26 percent in June across eight reference markets in bimodal areas, but prices remain about 20 percent above the June 2018 and five-year averages. Maize prices remained stable or declined by 10 percent from May to June and remained stable with respect to June 2018 and five-year averages, while cassava chips traded 41 and 53 percent below the 2018 and 5-year averages, respectively. Given expected below average production, prices of most staples are expected to remain near to above the 2018 average until the next harvest, apart from cassava. The tradeable surplus is also expected to be below normal.

    • A recent wave of violence led to a slight increase in new refugee arrivals from the DRC in the second quarter of 2019, with 20,874 arrivals compared to 19,807 in the first quarter. In June, the daily arrival rate through the Lake Albert corridor more than quadrupled compared to May. Although the WHO declared the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in the DRC a public health emergency of international concern, border crossing points into Uganda remained open in late July. Surveillance activities are ongoing and, on July 27th, the WHO determined Uganda to be disease free. Meanwhile, the daily rate of new refugee arrivals from South Sudan into Uganda declined from 205 in May to 65 in June. In May, 1,588 South Sudan refugees returned from Uganda and total voluntary returns since November 2017 are reported at 88,299. Ongoing humanitarian food assistance and the availability of first season harvests are maintaining Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes. However, WFP faces a funding shortfall of US$30 million for food assistance that is planned through December. Should required funding not be received, ration cuts would be anticipated as early as August, leading to a decline in food security to Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

    This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.

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