In bimodal areas, rainfall in early to mid-November improved cumulative totals for the second season (beginning in September) to near or above average in the western region and much of the northern region. However, cumulative totals remain just 75-90 percent of average in much of the central and eastern regions and parts of the northern region (mostly the West Nile districts). Overall, November rainfall significantly improved production prospects for maize and other perennial crops. Production of maize is now expected to be near average in most areas, though slightly below average in eastern Uganda. However, the rains caused crop damage and significant postharvest losses to beans, especially in the southwest region, with production expected to be below average on the national level. Heavy rainfall also caused flooding, landslides, and considerable damage to road infrastructure in the districts of Mbale, Sironko, Kasese, Bundibugyo, Tororo, Busia, Kayunga, and Pakwach, among others.
In November, ongoing harvesting of green maize, beans (green and dry), and other pulses in bimodal production areas continues to improve availability of food and income for rural households in the western, central, eastern, and some parts of northern regions where planting occurred earlier. The bulk of the main dry harvest of maize is expected from mid-December 2022. This is expected to boost many rural households’ access to food and income in bimodal areas. However, poor households in Teso and parts of the eastern and northern regions that received erratic and below-average rainfall are still expected to experience localized production shortfalls. With below-average production for a fourth consecutive season, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected to persist in these areas. In other bimodal areas, Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes are expected at the area level.
Staple food prices exhibited mixed trends across monitored bimodal markets from September to October alongside variable timing of harvesting in bimodal Uganda. Prices of beans declined by 11 to 17 percent in Masindi and Mubende but remained stable in Kampala, though October prices remained 21 to 63 percent above prices recorded last year and five-year average levels. Meanwhile, retail prices of maize flour and cassava chips increased by 13 to 25 percent across monitored markets but are expected to decline in the coming months alongside increased supplies from the new harvest. Overall, prices remain significantly above prices recorded last year and five-year average levels due to three consecutive prior below-average harvest seasons, above-average fuel prices, and above-average regional demand.
In Karamoja, crop production in the recently concluded 2022 main harvest was significantly below average and did not lead to the typical seasonal improvements in food availability. Though food from surplus-producing bimodal areas is boosting market supply, prices remain significantly above average. Given limited income-earning, below-average purchasing power, and high dependence on markets even in the post-harvest period, many poor households affected by reduced crop production continue to face slight to moderate food consumption gaps. Though scaled up food and nutrition programming have reduced the scale and severity of acute food insecurity, high levels of need continue to exceed reach. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are currently expected in the Central Sorghum and Livestock livelihood zone. As the lean season progresses, an increasing number of households will face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes, with rising levels of acute malnutrition likely.
Among refugees living in settlements, second season crop production has improved food availability for the limited share who farm. Refugees in southwestern settlements are expected to receive near normal crop production, while those in northwestern settlements are expected to receive below normal production due to below average rainfall. Though declining prices from September to October slightly improved purchasing power, prices remain above average and are generally expected to increase further due to inflation. Given this and overall limited livelihood opportunities – especially among newly arrived refugees – food consumption outcomes are expected to deteriorate throughout the projection period for many. Overall, however, regular food and nutrition assistance received by most refugees is expected to sustain Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes at the area level through May 2023, though refugees receiving cash-based transfers will experience declining value of assistance benefits due to inflation.