Unrelenting conflict and rapid climate change are continuing to reshape agriculture and contributing to major food shortages in Uganda and 38 other countries across the world.
This is according to the Crop Prospects and Food Situation report, released today by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). The report spelled out that 31 countries in Africa, seven in Asia, and Haiti in the Caribbean, remain in need of external assistance to meet their food needs.
According to the report, civil conflicts, population displacement, extreme climate events are the key drivers of food insecurity and have hampered food access to vulnerable populations in 52 Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries (LIFDCs).
The countries include Uganda, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Djibouti, Eritrea, Eswatini (former Swaziland), Ethiopia, South Sudan, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, and among others.
Uganda was affected by localized crop production shortfalls, the refugee influx, which has brought about 1.1 million refugees from South Sudan and about 316, 000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo into camps across Uganda.
In the northeastern Karamoja Region, the lean season ended in September 2017, about one month later than normal, as harvests were delayed. In addition, crop production is estimated at a below-average level and households are expected to deplete their food stocks from own production by December 2018, thus facing an early start of the next lean season.
Like in Uganda, the situation in East African countries resulted from abundant rains which, apart from boosting production, resulted in localized flooding. The countries in southern Africa were affected by unfavorable weather conditions that curbed cereal outputs resulting in heightened food insecurity
The global importance of cereal crops to the human diet cannot be over stated, according to FAO. Cereals are hugely adaptable, especially in regions that rely mainly on plant sources for protein and calories.