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Delayed and below-average March - April rainfall likely to impact production

  • Key Message Update
  • Uganda
  • March 2019
Delayed and below-average March - April rainfall likely to impact production

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In Karamoja, household food gaps continue to widen as the lean season progresses, driven by limited income-earning opportunities and rising food prices. Sorghum retail prices in Karamoja reference markets remained above the 2018 average in February, but below the five-year average. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes prevail, mostly in Kotido and Kaabong. In bimodal areas, favorable staple food prices continue to sustain household food access despite below-average income from agricultural labor and seasonal declines in household food stocks, maintaining Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes. Although prices are seasonally increasing, they remain below the 2018 average and near to below the five-year average.

    • March rainfall was delayed and below-average across bimodal Uganda, attributed in part to tropical cyclone Idai in southern Africa, which drove moisture away from the East Africa region. Planting has not been completed in most of Uganda, while crops in the south are currently experiencing poor germination and moisture stress. Cumulative March to May rainfall is now most likely to be near average, though uncertainty exists due to a forecast of poor temporal distribution of rain in April, a critical crop growth period.  This is likely to delay arrival of the green harvest and, should rainfall deficits be sustained, lead to below-average crop production.

    • In Karamoja and bimodal cattle corridor districts, pasture and water resources remain below average, according to field reports. Although cumulative unimodal rainfall in Karamoja (April-September) is forecast to be average, below-average rainfall in April is likely to impede planting. Cattle body conditions are below average to poor, with significantly declining productivity and sale value. Body conditions among other species are expected to deteriorate until the rains are established. Rangeland resource recovery is likely to occur more slowly, reducing productivity.

    • An estimated 7,168 people from South Sudan and 6,922 from DRC arrived in Uganda in  February 2019, according to UNHCR and the government of Uganda. While last seasons’ harvests have been exhausted, refugees in all settlements continued to receive a full ration in February and March. However, planned humanitarian food assistance is only partially funded through May. Delayed rainfall has similarly affected households with an arable plot, causing delays in planting that will lead to delays in harvest availability. Both populations remain Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!).

    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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