Uganda consumer prices rose by 0.3% in March 2014 due to rise in food prices.
The director macro economic statistics, Uganda Bureau Of Statistics (UBOS) Mr. Chris Ndatira Mukiza, attributed the increase in prices to the reduced supply of agricultural products to markets owing to the prolonged dry spell experienced in most parts of the country in the past few months. Food prices rised by 12.7% in March compared to 11% in the previous month with the highest increase being in fruits and vegetable prices which rely on the rain to thrive.
As long as Uganda continues to rely on natural rain fall for agriculture, these figures will continue to be reflected mostly during the dry spells. As a consumer you will require more money to pay for the similar amount of food hence reducing the purchasing power of individuals.
Agricultural food products in Uganda account for 27.1% of the components in the inflation basket being the biggest percentage but this can be reduced significantly if mechanized methods of farming such as irrigation are used. This would help reduce the effect of the dry spells on quantity produced hence reduce on the final price of the commodity, increasing the consumers purchasing power in turn.
With the rains now with us, we expect food production to increase and food prices to fall but Uganda having agriculture as one of its major revenue earners, there is a need for a permanent solution to the dry spell season and a need to reduce the dependence on rainfall.