Uganda Agricultural News and Research Digest – January 11

Officials meet on food insecurity
Daily Monitor
Government has set up some recommendations to address high food prices that FAO says has reached its highest level in 30 years. Some of the recommendations include reducing taxes on fuel and value-added equipment, increasing taxes on imported foodstuffs and formulating food hygiene-related policies. The high-level government officials’ meeting with key national and international stakeholders in agriculture that closed in Entebbe last week, also recommended that various countries should improve information accessibility across regions and strengthen market and trade information systems.

Farmers query cotton stabilisation fund
Daily Monitor
Cotton farmers are questioning the feasibility of government’s proposed cotton price stabilisation fund meant to regulate fluctuating prices. Mr Matias Osege, a prominent cotton farmer in Sere village in Tororo district, said the ginners deducted Shs600 per Kilogramme from last season’s sales to raise funds that would cover them when prices drop. However, he alleged that officials from the Cotton Development Organisation (CDO) told them that the money was used to buy tractors, seeds and other inputs.“No funds were saved for topping up.”

EAC import tariffs on maize are hurting Kenya, says World Bank
Business Daily Africa
Kenya is hurting from the East African Community (EAC) common market policy that restricts importation of duty-free maize, the World Bank has said. “Kenya is a food deficit country even in a bumper harvest year, yet the country levies import duty on food grains that are only suspended on an ad hoc basis in times of crisis. The East African Community customs union partners also impose export bans on cereals when Kenya experiences a food crisis,” said the World Bank report.

African conference calls for new agricultural universities
East and Central African countries should establish a new generation of innovation-oriented agricultural universities that would help integrate research, training and extension services, a conference has agreed. The recommendation came at the close of the first General Assembly of the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA), held in Uganda last month. The new universities, said the recommendation, should be anchored in ministries of agriculture but linked with other ministries such as education, environment and transport. That would eradicate the disconnection between National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIs) and training in various faculties of agriculture at existing universities.

Poor losing out from large land deals – study
The global rush to acquire large amounts of land in developing countries has done more harm than good, especially to the poorest people who often lose access to land and resources essential to their livelihoods. The problem is fuelled by ineffective governance, corruption, a lack of transparency in decision-making and weak rights for local landholders, according to the study by the International Land Coalition (ILC). Scant economic protection for the rural poor compared with international investors, and the common belief that large-scale agriculture is the best way to achieve food security also contribute to the negative impacts, it added.

In Africa, using ants and termites to increase crop yields
Christian Science Monitor
Recent research conducted by scientists at the University of Sydney reveals that ants could also help farmers increase crop yields. The findings show that termites and ants improve soil fertility in dry lands by digging tunnels that allow plants greater access to water.

Agricultural and food policy research
Note that if you experience any trouble in downloading any of these research documents, you can contact us by return e-mail for assistance. We can offer no guarantees that we will be able to provide the document, but we may have other avenues to pursue to assist you.

Uganda: Mapping the distribution of commercial goods to the last mile
J Durgavich, B Nabirumbi, & S Ochaka. 2008. USAID | DELIVER project.
This older but recently released study report examines how a sample of common household goods are distributed in villages along the north shore of Lake Kwania in the Apac district. The study identified goods that were available at the village level and traced them back through their supply chains to manufacturers or distributors. While tracing the goods, the study examined the levels of inventory and the transportation strategies employed by the commercial sector to assure the availability of goods to remote, rural areas.

Tools for women’s empowerment?: the case of the forage chopper for smallholder dairy farmers in Uganda
F Lubwama Kiyimba – 2011
Labour-saving tools have been advocated as an important means of increasing production and improving the quality of life of rural Africans. Women have been specifically targeted in the development and dissemination of such tools, with the aim of helping them reassign time from farming and domestic activities towards income generating activities. Engineers have always assumed that taking women into consideration in the development and dissemination processes of labour saving tools will guarantee their use and reduce women’s labour time in agriculture, but this has not been effectively achieved. The forage chopper is one such technology that was developed with the aim of reducing women’s labour burdens, and indeed empowering them, only to find out that realities of use are much more complex. With a technographic approach, focusing on a socially active labour saving tool, this research explored how technologies contribute to the empowerment of women.

Adoption and productivity impacts of biotechnology for orphan crops: The case of tissue culture bananas in Kenya
N Kabunga, T Dubois & M Qaim, Tropenag. 2011
The benefits of relatively knowledge-intensive technologies that require supplemental inputs are not well known in literature. Moreover, there are no known studies investigating technology impacts on perennial crops. Using the case of tissue culture (TC) bananas in Kenya, we assess whether there are differences in banana production functions between TC adopters and non-adopters using a simultaneous equations model with endogenous switching. We account for heterogeneity in adoption decisions and for unobservable characteristics of farmer households and their farms and then compare the expected banana yield under the actual and counterfactual scenarios. Because of banana’s perennial nature, we also assess technology impacts over time by considering plantation age characteristics, a method not used before. We find that adopters and non-adopters are systematically different with regard to personal and farming attributes. Agricultural information access matters for adoption but also for productivity benefits.

Status of biotechnology in Eastern and Central Africa
GYS Mtui – Biotechnology and Molecular Biology Reviews, 2011
This work examines trends of both conventional and modern biotechnologies in selected Eastern and Central African countries namely Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo, with the aim of giving an up-to-date assessment of their national policies, institutional capacities, and the activities being carried out. Agricultural biotechnology seems to take the lead while biotechnologies related to health, industries and environment are lagging behind. Kenya leads the region with its biotechnology policy framework in place and more on-going biotechnology related activities, followed by Uganda. Tanzania has already developed its biotechnology policy but is slower to translate it into practice especially on matters related to modern biotechnology. The rest of the countries are yet to formulate their biotechnology policies but efforts are underway to achieve that goal.

Agricultural productivity and policies in Sub-Saharan Africa
B Yu & A Nin-Pratt. IFPRI Discussion Paper. 2011
We analyze the evolution of Sub-Saharan Africa’s (SSA’s) agricultural total factor productivity (TFP) over the past 45 years, looking for evidence of recent changes in growth patterns using an improved nonparametric Malmquist index. Our TFP estimates show a remarkable recovery in the performance of SSA’s agriculture between 1984 and 2006 after a long period of poor performance and decline. That recovery is the consequence of improved efficiency in production, resulting from changes in the output structure and an adjustment in the use of inputs. Policy interventions, including fiscal, trade, and sector-specific policies, appear to have played an important role in improving agricultural performance.

Uganda Agricultural News and Research Digest – November 2

Agricultural and Food Policy News

Uganda Food Security Outlook
Initial concerns about a potential second consecutive below average harvest in northwestern and northern Uganda have not materialized as rains have performed better than expected. Food security across the country has been bolstered by food stocks from the first season harvest, and is expected to further improve with above‐average second season harvests starting in November. Prices of staples are above average across most markets and are expected to rise until the next harvest enters the market in November/December. However, high regional demand for maize is likely to maintain above‐average prices throughout the outlook period.

Agriculture ministry on the spot over NAADS
Daily Monitor
Kigulu South MP Muwuma told Parliament on Tuesday that a number of NAADS staff have been thrown out of office and replaced with unqualified and incompetent staff. “The way the restructuring process in this secretariat is being done is wanting,” Mr Muwuma said. “Workers have been forced to leave work and have been replaced by people who are appointed in dubious ways.” However, State Agriculture Minister Rwamirama said Mr Muwuma was trying to be a voice for disgruntled people who fear facing competition to get jobs.

Coffee, bananas grow together to fight climate change
Over the next three to four decades, temperatures in the Great Lakes Region of Central Africa are expected to rise about two degrees Celsius. Scientists say without immediate innovations in farming, crops will be devastated and the region will be thrown into chaos. So Rwanda is experimenting with what is already widely practiced in some neighboring countries. They are growing banana and coffee plants on the same soil to prepare for the new climate in the long term, and to grow the economy in the short term. But scientists say new agricultural techniques in this region like this one are not just about poverty alleviation – they are a critical component of preventing the region from destruction due to climate change. Sanginga Nteranya, the incoming director general of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, said that if farms systems are overhauled, people will not have to suffer.

Kenyan scientists find a cure for stem borer in maize
Daily Monitor
Maize production in Kenya has always been faced with the attack of maize stem borer. The insect attacks the leaves and growing point of the plant, stunting the growth and sometimes killing off the plant. Scientists in Kenya have developed a biological control system where maize is intercropped with Napier grass and desmodium, a legume. The Napier grass forms a perimetre around the maize garden to attract the maize stem borer moths which fly at night and are attracted by the scent of maize. However, they prefer the napier scent than maize. About half of the remaining 40 per cent of the moths that enter the maize crop are pushed away by the smell of desmodium which is intercropped with maize.

Agricultural and food policy research
Note that if you experience any trouble in downloading any of these research documents, you can e-mail us at We can offer no guarantees that we will be able to provide the document, but we may have other avenues to pursue to assist you.

Prevalence and trends of stunting among pre-school children, 1990–2020
M de Onis, M Blössner, & E Borghi. Public Health Nutrition 2011This paper provides an update on the estimated worldwide prevalence of stunting (defined as height-for-age <-2 SD with respect to the WHO growth standard median) through the year 2010, and an extrapolation of expected trends through the year 2020. Despite the disheartening trends reported for stunting prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa, this article provides evidence that rapid change is possible when specific health and development programs are implemented. In an interesting set of analyses from northeastern Brazil, where the prevalence of stunting declined from 34% to 6% in just 20 years, the main factors associated with this decline were increased purchasing power of lower income families, greater educational levels of women, improved environmental hygiene, and increased coverage of health services. Thus, policies and programs focusing on these specific needs of the poorer segments of society, and especially women, can produce remarkable improvements in young children’s growth patterns.

Assessment of GIS Data Interoperability in Uganda
M Musinguzi, SS Tickodri-Togboa, & G Bax. 2010. Article under review
This paper considers the data interoperability issues that are considered to place the greatest limitation to the utilization of GIS Technology in Uganda and other similar developing countries. The major issues are identified as either those originating from different approaches to spatial feature development by institutions, or using ‘equivalent’ spatial data in models that were designed for other environments. Geometrical Integration issues are identified as variations in scale, projections and local adjustments, to generic spatial reference systems and variations in approaches to seamless mapping for UTM projection in Uganda. Documentation of data and legislation on SDI are recommended as key solutions to the interoperability issues in Uganda.

Uganda Agricultural News and Research Digest – October 28

Agricultural and Food Policy News

Uganda food exports to Kenya push up prices

Daily Monitor

The International Monetary Fund has blamed some of the inflationary pressure buffeting Uganda to exports of food to neighbouring countries, particularly to western Kenya and South Sudan. Uganda one of Kenya’s most important trade partner is suffering the highest rate of inflation in the region at 28.3 per cent, much higher than Kenya’s 17.32 per cent and Tanzania’s 16.8 per cent. IMF said 60 per cent of the Uganda headline inflation is made up of food prices.

President Museveni encourages farmers to select their farming enterprises wisely

Daily Monitor

Small-scale farmers have to invest wisely by practicing enterprise selections basing on returns the crop brings per acreage to maximise earnings, President Museveni said. “It’s economically unviable to grow grains, which are low value crops, on a two-acre piece of land since it will be relatively hard to obtain maximum returns. I am not convinced that a small scale farmer with only two acres can grow grains and get maximum return. Since many (small-scale farmers) do their selection badly, they fail to come out of poverty despite putting in much”.

Delays at Mombasa frustrating business operations in Uganda

Daily Monitor

Delays experienced at the Mombasa Port have been worsened by the current torrential rains pounding the coastal region, and creating supply shortages for some commodities in countries which use the port as a transit point. This comes at a time when Ugandan traders are increasing feeling frustrated about the operations of Mombasa Port accusing the authority of creating artificial delays and disrupting their businesses.

Micro-insurance scheme pays off for Kenyan farmers

Some of the farmers who lost their crops to drought this year may be able to afford farming next season, with the help of a ‘micro-insurance’ scheme. Kilimo Salama was launched last year, providing small-scale farmers in Kenya with crop insurance by combining mobile phone payment with the data from automated weather stations. Farmers register with one of 30 solar-powered weather stations, each covering a 15–20 kilometre radius, and purchase insurance when buying seeds and fertilisers. Kilimo Salama uses data from these stations to calculate the severity of droughts — or excessive rainfall. Eligible farmers then receive payouts via their mobile phones.

Creating a ‘safe’ space to advance evidence-based policy

How can the scientific community ensure that research finds its way into policy and practice? ‘Boundary organisations’ — organisations that cross the boundary between research and politics — can be part of the answer. They can help practitioners to consider how blurring the boundaries between science and politics — rather than maintaining their separation, which is often advocated and practised — can lead to more productive decision-making. Lessons learned from the Regional Network on AIDS, Livelihoods and Food Security (RENEWAL) in South Africa suggest that scientists who engage policymakers as ‘policy entrepreneurs’, within the ‘blurred space’ provided by a boundary organisation, can help promote evidence-based policy.

Agricultural and food policy research

Note that if you experience any trouble in downloading any of these research documents, you can contact us by return e-mail for assistance. We can offer no guarantees that we will be able to provide the document, but we may have other avenues to pursue to assist you.

Options for support to agriculture and food security under climate change

SJ Vermeulen, PK Aggarwal, A Ainslie, C Angelone… – Environmental Science & Policy 2011This paper presents a summary of current knowledge on options to support farmers, particularly smallholder farmers, in achieving food security through agriculture under climate change. Actions towards adaptation fall into two broad overlapping areas: (1) accelerated adaptation to progressive climate change over decadal time scales, for example integrated packages of technology, agronomy and policy options for farmers and food systems, and (2) better management of agricultural risks associated with increasing climate variability and extreme events, for example improved climate information services and safety nets.

Bringing agriculture to the table: How agriculture and food policy can play a role in preventing chronic disease

R. Nugent. Chicago Council on Global Affairs. 2011

Health solutions to prevent non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have traditionally left out the agriculture and food sector. This report examines incentives and practical opportunities for governments, the private sector, and other relevant agriculture and food stakeholders to contribute to curbing the current and predicted rise in heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and diet-related cancers. Special attention is paid to approaches that balance development, agriculture, health, and economic objectives. The scope of the report is global, but highlights low- and middle-income countries, home to the greatest number of people affected by NCDs today and where increases are projected for the future.

The report can be downloaded here: Bringing Agriculture to the Table

Sweetpotato research in Uganda – publications from 2011

Robert Mwanga of the Kampala office of the International Potato Center (CIP) shared the following list of publications on research conducted on sweetpotato in Uganda that were published this year and are available on-line:

Cervantes-Flores, J.C., B. Sosinski, K.V. Pecota, R.O.M. Mwanga, G. L. Catignani, V. D. Truong, R. H. Watkins, M. R. Ulmer and G. C. Yencho. 2011. Identification of quantitative trait loci for dry-matter, starch, and β-carotene content in sweetpotato. Molecular Breeding. 28(2): 201-216.

Tumwegamire, S., P.R. Rubahiyo, D.R. LaBonte, F. Diaz, R. Kapinga, R.O.M. Mwanga, and W.J. Grüneberg. 2011. Genetic diversity in White- and orange-fleshed sweetpotato farmer varieties from East Africa evaluated by simple sequence repeat markers. Crop Science. 51: 1132-1142.

Tumwegamire, S., P.R. Rubahiyo, D.R. LaBonte, W.J. Grüneberg, G. Burgos, T. zum Felde, R. Carpio, E. Pawelzik, and R.O.M. Mwanga. 2011. Evaluation of dry matter, protein, starch, sucrose, β-carotene, iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium in East African sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam] Germplasm. HortScience. 46(3): 348-357.

Yada, B., P. Tukamuhabwa, A. Alajo, and R.O.M. Mwanga. 2011. Field evaluation of Ugandan sweetpotato germplasm for yield, dry matter, and disease resistance. South African Journal of Plant and Soil. 28(2): 142-146.

Gibson, R.W., I. Mpembe and R. O. M. Mwanga. 2011. Benefits of participatory plant breeding (PPB) as exemplified by the first-ever officially released PPB-bred sweet potato cultivar. The Journal of Agricultural Science. 149(5): 625-632.

Gibson, R.W., I. Mpembe, and R. O. M. Mwanga. 2011. The role of participatory plant breeding as exemplified by the release of the sweetpotato variety NASPOT 11 in Uganda in 2010. Aspects of Applied Biology, Systems Approaches to Crop Improvement. 107: 71-76.

Mwanga, R.O.M. and G. Ssemakula. 2011. Orange-fleshed sweetpotato for food, health, and wealth in Uganda. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability. 9(1): 42-49.

Mwanga, R.O.M., C. Niringiye, A. Alajo, B. Kigozi, J. Namakula, I. Mpembe, S. Tumwegamire, R.W. Gibson, and G.C. Yencho. 2011. ‘NAPOT 11’, a sweetpotato cultivar bred by a participatory plant-breeding approach in Uganda. HortScience. 46(2): 317-321.

P. Wasswa, P., B. Otto, M. N. Maruthi, S. B. Mukasa, W. Monger, and R. W. Gibson. 2011. First identification of a sweet potato begomovirus (sweepovirus) in Uganda: characterization, detection and distribution. Plant Pathology.

Uganda Agricultural News and Research Digest – October 19

Agricultural and Food Policy News

Museveni directs on grains strategy
New Vision
President Museveni has directed grain experts to develop a strategy on grain production to ensure sustainability and promote income generation to fight poverty. The President urged grain experts to promote appropriate enterprise selections for farmers, adding that small land holder farmers who pick wrong enterprises may end up working for ever and never getting out of poverty. He said Uganda’s problem has always been accessing markets for its produce, adding however that with the region now opened up under COMESA, EAC and South Sudan, the demand has grown big.

Western Uganda gets new milk powder plant
East African Business Week
Milk producers in Western Uganda are set to benefit from one of Uganda’s biggest investors, the Midland Group. The company announced recently that it’s constructing a $15m milk powder plant in the region. This will bring the number of milk powder plants in Uganda to two after Sameer Agriculture and Livestock Industries launched theirs a few years back.

Tanzania lifts ban on food exports
The government of Tanzania has lifted the ban on food exports to neighboring countries of East Africa facing severe food shortage because it has a surplus of food in the country. Speaking in Dar es salaam last week, President Kikwete instructed institutions responsible for food security in the country to allow local traders to export the surplus food to neighbouring countries.

Kenya’s decision to import GMOs may force Uganda to fast-track biosafety regulatory regime
The East African
Kenya’s decision to allow importation of GM foods has created a ripple across the East African region. Tanzania and Uganda may be forced to fast-track their GM trials and bio-safety legislations in a bid to catch up with Kenya, which now seeks to allow in GM maize to deal with famine. Kenya’s move, endorsed by the Cabinet in August with importation guidelines and regulations published a month later, could spell a cross-border flow of GMOs, due to poor administration of the region’s national boundaries.

Malawi: Farm subsidy programme shrinks
President Bingu wa Mutharika introduced the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP) in 2005 to improve Malawi’s national food security and lift the productivity of smallholder farmers after several years of drought brought poor harvests. The scheme is widely seen as successful in achieving both goals, but expensive. During the 2010/11 farming season 1.6 million farmers received vouchers to buy heavily subsidised fertilizer and maize seed, costing the government and donors 23 billion kwacha (US$152.3 million). Now, in the midst of a crippling economic crisis, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has announced that only 1.4 million farmers are eligible to receive vouchers for the 2011/12 season, and only 140,000 metric tons of fertilizer have been purchased for distribution compared to the 170,000 tons it bought last year.

Millennium villages project launches second phase
The Millennium Villages Project has launched its second phase, alongside a report stating that it is on track to enable people living in impoverished communities in Sub-Saharan Africa achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It aims to show how ‘research villages’ in ten African countries can achieve the MDGs and disseminate sustainable skills and knowledge. But a paper co-authored by Michael Clemmens, found that some of the results claimed by the project were “overstated”. “There are many reasons to think that a large fraction of that change would have happened if the project never existed at all. What we do know is that there is no evidence that this will have any long-term effects.”

Agricultural and food policy research
Note that if you experience any trouble in downloading any of these research documents, you can contact us by e-mail for assistance: We can offer no guarantees that we will be able to provide the document, but we may have other avenues to pursue to assist you.

Making agriculture pro-nutrition
O Ecker, A Mabiso, A Kennedy & X Diao – IFPRI 2011
Extreme poverty and chronic malnutrition are widespread in rural Tanzania, where smallholder agriculture dominates the economy. Given the sector’s role as the main source of food and livelihood for many malnourished people, agriculture has substantial potential to reduce poverty and hunger. In this paper, the links between agriculture and nutrition in Tanzania are explored and the evidence is reviewed on how these links can be strengthened for improved nutrition. Thereafter, the authors quantitatively evaluate the potential nutrition outcome of agricultural growth through productivity-enhancing investments over the next five years.

Hunger Reduction Commitment Index
The Institute of Development Studies, Action Aid, Save the Children and Trócaire have developed a ‘Hunger Reduction Commitment Index’ (HRCI). The Index aims to increase accountability among governments, multilateral agencies, corporations and international NGOs by measuring the political commitment to hunger and malnutrition in both developing countries and in selected donor countries. The data for the 21 countries evaluated can be downloaded here – href=”

Uganda Agricultural News and Research Digest – October 13

Agricultural and Food Policy News

Uganda silk production set for 2012
East African Business Week
Uganda is set to join the world’s top producers of silk-worm once the 1,000 hectare Kisozi silk-rearing project starts production next year. We are using so far 1000 hectares of the 14000 hectare farm in Kisozi for silk rearing,” said Mohammad Ali Mousavi, the Chairman Iran Uganda Establishments. The USD$ 9 million investment is currently employing over 500 people and will boost silk product manufacturing plants in Iran.

Hiccups in move of Ministry of Agriculture from Entebbe to Kampala
Daily Monitor
Work at the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries has stalled over disagreements to relocate from the old headquarters in Entebbe to a five-storey building in Kampala. Officials at the ministry are hesitant to move to the rented premises in Kampala, saying the building lacks enough space.

Uganda land evictions row
The New Forests Company has defended itself against accusations in an Oxfam report that it was responsible for 20,000 people in Uganda being violently evicted from their land to make way for forest plantations. “The New Forests Company takes Oxfam’s allegations extremely seriously and will conduct an immediate and thorough investigation of them,” it said in a statement. “Our understanding of these resettlements is that they were legal, voluntary and peaceful and our first-hand observations of them confirmed this.”
In the 28 September edition of the Uganda Agricultural News Digest, we provided a link to the Oxfam report.

African experts seek plan to regulate foreign investments in land
Afrique en Ligue
African experts gathered in Nairobi are discussing a common position to outlaw land grabbing by foreigners. Former President of Botswana Festus said the experts meeting on African land policy would discuss the positive and negative aspects of foreign investments in land. “We are not here to cry wolf about land grabs but we are here to discuss the management of land in Africa,” the former president told the gathering.

Food prices to be even more volatile, UN says
Food prices are likely to become more volatile in coming years, increasing the risk that more poor people in import-dependent countries will go hungry, the United Nations said in an annual report on food insecurity published this week. Global food price indices hit record highs in February. Prices have since eased but the U.N. report said economic uncertainty, low cereal reserves, closer links between energy and agriculture markets and rising risks of weather shocks were likely to cause more dramatic price swings in the future.
To download the 2011 State of Food Insecurity report:

Population has bigger effect than climate change on crop yields, study suggests
Population pressure will be as significant a factor as climate change in reducing crop yields — and thus increasing food insecurity — in West Africa, according to a modelling study. They found that, as the population increases, farmers frequently cultivate cropland without allowing adequate resting periods for the soil to regain its fertility — thus reducing crop yields.

Agricultural and food policy research
Note that if you experience any trouble in downloading any of these research documents, you can contact us by e-mail for assistance:‎. We can offer no guarantees that we will be able to provide the document, but we may have other avenues to pursue to assist you.

Ugandan case studies from World Bank’s Inclusive Growth Diagnostic Analysis Conference
The World Bank hosted the Inclusive Growth Diagnostic Analysis Conference on September 28-29, 2011 in Nairobi . Inclusive growth is defined as economic growth coupled with equality of opportunity. It is closely related to pro-poor growth, because the poor tend to belong to the group of people with unequal opportunities. The sessions at the conference were intended to delve into the different approaches for inclusive growth analysis (both at the country and thematic level), to provide a framework for analyzing the constraints to more shared growth (or the potential for vehicles/policies to contribute to more inclusive growth), and to highlight important features of inclusive growth analysis under different country contexts.
Presented at the conference was a set of papers from case studies on the topic that were done on Uganda. The most recent of these studies was one from June 2011 on what must be done to ensure that Uganda’s agriculture sector promotes inclusive growth: Uganda: Agriculture for Inclusive Growth in Uganda

Uganda Agricultural News and Research Digest – October 7

Agricultural and Food Policy News

Government okays nutrition plan
Daily Monitor
The government recently approved the Uganda Nutrition Action Plan to stamp out malnutrition in the country. At the closing of the regional meeting of Southern and Eastern African Parliamentary Committee on Health last week in Kampala, participants said the activities in the action plan will involve teaching people how to eat a balanced diet to promote a healthy living. The nutrition action plan sets out guidelines for districts to implement nutrition programmes aimed at improving maternal and child health in the country by reducing malnutrition in women of reproductive age, as well as in infants below two years.
Also see Museveni launches nutrition action plan

Uganda food security outlook update
The recently concluded first season harvest of staples such as maize, millet, sweet potatoes, cassava and bananas (matooke) have increased food availability and access in households and markets, resulting in price declines of most staples in bimodal areas. Consequently, no or minimal acute food insecurity is expected in these areas through December at least. In northern and northwestern Uganda, where first season production was below average, harvesting of staples is still ongoing due to late onset of the rains in these areas.
Also see the FEWSNet regional rainfall forecast here:

Over half of local women anaemic
New Vision
Over 8.4 million women in Uganda are anaemic, a condition where one lacks enough blood, the health ministry has disclosed. This represents 50% of the women in the country according to Sarah Ngarombi, the senior nutritionist in the Ministry of Health. With anaemia, it is difficult for ones blood to carry oxygen, causing unusual tiredness and other symptoms. Ngarombi attributed the problem to high levels of malnutrition among women, which results in lack of essential micro-nutrients like iron, zinc and Vitamin A.

Uganda, Kenya to gain from WB’S $1.88b drought fund
East African Business Week
Kenya and Uganda are among four African countries that are to benefit from the $1.88b provided by the World Bank to battle drought and increase food security. This follows that increase of the World Bank’s assistance to the drought-stricken Horn of Africa countries from the $500m to $1.88b aimed at one of the worst droughts in more than half a century. The World Bank’s response plan builds on the institutions strategy for Africa, which calls for reducing vulnerability and building resilience to natural disasters and climate change by leveraging partnerships, knowledge and financing.

Uphill struggle for Uganda’s women computer scientists
Aspiring female computer scientists in Uganda face a string of obstacles, including a society that considers the subject too difficult for them, families that fear the independence that success might confer and negativity from male student colleagues, a survey has found. Interviews with women studying computer science at Makerere University, Uganda’s premier institute of higher education, also found that families in rural areas ― where most of the population lives ― are reluctant for their daughters to study far from home, which confines their choices to non-science subjects.

World Bank WDR 2012 – Gender Equality and Development
The World Bank
This year’s World Development Report: Gender Equality and Development argues that gender equality is a core development objective in its own right. It is also smart economics. Greater gender equality can enhance productivity, improve development outcomes for the next generation, and make institutions more representative. Four priority areas are suggested for policy going forward: (i) reducing excess female mortality and closing education gaps where they remain, (ii) improving access to economic opportunities for women (iii) increasing women’s voice and agency in the household and in society and (iv) limiting the reproduction of gender inequality across generations. Download the report at the link above.

State of the World 2011 shows agriculture innovation is key to reducing poverty and stabilising climate
Living Green Magazine
Worldwatch Institute recently released its report State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet, which spotlights successful agricultural innovations and unearths major successes in preventing food waste, building resilience to climate change, and strengthening farming in cities. The report examines the global food crisis, with particular emphasis on global innovations that can help solve global hunger and poverty.

Agricultural and food policy research
Note that if you experience any trouble in downloading any of these research documents, you can contact us by e-mail for assistance: We can offer no guarantees that we will be able to provide the document, but we may have other avenues to pursue to assist you.

Managing future oil revenue in Uganda for agricultural development and poverty reduction
M Wiebelt, K Pauw, JM Matovu, E Twimukye & T Benson. IFPRI Discussion paper- 2011
With the aid of a recursive-dynamic computable general equilibrium (CGE) model this study evaluates the economic implications of the future oil boom in Uganda. We also consider various options open to the Ugandan government for saving, spending, or investing forecasted oil revenues with the aim of promoting economic development and reducing poverty, but also countering possible Dutch Disease effects. We find that generally urban sectors and households will be better able to capture rents generated by the oil revenues leading to growing rural–urban and regional inequality.
This is a peer-reviewed version of a paper published by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy that was featured in this newsletter on 12 May 2011 – Managing future oil revenues in Uganda for agricultural development and poverty reduction: A CGE analysis of challenges and options

A simple poverty scorecard for Uganda
M Schreiner – 2011
This study uses Uganda’s 2009/10 National Household Survey to construct an easy-to use scorecard that estimates the likelihood that a household has expenditure below a given poverty line. The scorecard uses ten simple indicators that field agents can quickly collect and verify. Poverty scores can be computed on paper in the field in five to ten minutes. The scorecard’s accuracy and precision are reported for a range of poverty lines. Poverty scoring is a practical way for pro-poor programs in Uganda to estimate poverty rates, track changes in poverty rates over time, and target services.

Effects of transaction costs on choice of selling point: A case of smallholder banana growers
JN Jagwe & C. Machethe- Agrekon, 2011
This article examines the effects of transaction costs on the choice of marketing channel by smallholder banana producers (i.e. travel to the market to sell their produce versus selling at the farmgate). A probit analysis is used to identify the factors which determine the choice of a selling point. Variables capturing transaction costs are used in the analysis and these relate to searching for a trading partner, gathering information about the transaction, contracting, negotiating, monitoring and enforcing of contracts. The findings reveal that collective action, gender of household head, degree of dependence on the crop, geographical location and access to price information significantly affect the choice of selling point.

Spatially targeting the distribution of agricultural input stockists in Malawi
A Farrow, K Risinamhodzi, S Zingore, & RJ Delve – Agricultural Systems, 2011
Developing rural agricultural input markets in sub-Saharan Africa can improve the current low productivity of smallholder farmers. Malawi has seen significant efforts in addressing the availability of agricultural inputs at village level in the last few years. Nevertheless inputs are still difficult to obtain for many remote smallholder farmers. Spatial analysis can help in the expansion of input stockists, especially agro-dealer networks, by assessing the coverage of existing input outlets and deriving optimum locations for village-level input stockists. We address three research questions. First, what is the locational efficiency of the current village-level stockists of inputs? Secondly, how many village-level stockists of markets are needed to reach 60% of the population in the central region of Malawi within one hour? Finally we address the potential spatial components of the sustainability of input stockists relating to the potential demand from smallholder farmers and the access to bulk supplies.

Uganda Agricultural News and Research Digest – September 28

Agricultural and Food Policy News

Ugandan farmer: ‘My land gave me everything. Now I’m one of the poorest’
The Guardian
Amnesty International reported this week that, with three months notice, the Ugandan government evicted more than 20,000 people in Mubende and Kiboga districts to make way for the UK-based New Forests Company to plant trees, to earn carbon credits and ultimately to sell the timber. NFC – which describes itself as a sustainable and socially responsible forestry company – has licenses to grow trees in Uganda. It strongly denies allegations that they had any involvement in any Ugandan evictions or violence, and told Oxfam: “There were no incidences of injury, physical violence, or destruction of property during the voluntary vacation process that have been brought to the attention of NFC.”
The Amnesty International report on the Mubende and Kiboga case study can be found here: Amnesty International report on NFC land evictions in Mubende and Kiboga districts

Inflation forces Kasese farmers to raise prices
Daily Monitor
Farmers in Kasese district, growing various food items at Mubuku irrigation scheme and elsewhere, have been forced to increase prices of their produce by Shs200 from an already agreed price as a result of inflation in the country. The chairperson of Basajjakweyamba Cooperative Society – Mubuku Irrigation Scheme Ltd, said farmers are unhappy about the price increases. He said his management entered into an agreement to sell farmers’ produce such as maize and rice to seed companies at Shs1,000 per kilogramme but now sold them at Shs1,200 and Shs1,300 per kilogramme respectively.

Regional crisis as sugarcane production falls
The Citizen Daily
Speculators are partly to blame for the sugar crisis currently hitting the East African region. Officials of the East African Community secretariat in Arusha are not yet categorical on the reasons behind the crisis whose repercussions are already hurting the whole region. High prices in Kenya have compounded the crisis as traders from across the region smuggle sugar to cash in on the lucrative market. The price has more than doubled in recent weeks, as the rest of the region also faces sugar shortages.

Benefits of good nutrition take centre stage at UN high-level event
UN News Centre
Representatives of governments, civil society and the private sector joined United Nations agencies to emphasize the importance of good nutrition, which is vital not only for human health but also for national economic and social development. The meeting, among several at UN Headquarters on the margins of the 66th session of the General Assembly, took place one year after the launch of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Initiative, a global initiative that aims to improve maternal and child nutrition. It focuses on the critical 1,000-day window between pregnancy and a child’s second birthday, when proper nutrition can mean the difference between health and sickness, life and death.

Agricultural and food policy research

Challenges facing smallholder farmers ICT-based market information service (MIS) projects: The case of BROSDI and WOUGNET in Uganda
JJ Okello & N Asingwire, International Journal of Economics and Research, 2011
Access and use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) by smallholder rural farmers is envisaged to improve their welfare due to increased access to input and output markets. This study analyzes the constraints to the use of such tools for market linkage in Uganda and policy implications. The paper draws from a case study of two local organizations ICT-based projects namely, Busoga Rural Open Source Development Initiative (BROSDI), and Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET). The constraints identified include lack or poor to ICT tools, poor ICT infrastructure, inadequate resources and high levels of poverty, low levels of literacy, inappropriate modes of information transfer, socio-cultural dynamics and sustainability issues.

Assessing nutritional diversity of cropping systems in African villages
R Remans, DFB Flynn, F DeClerck et al., PLoS ONE, 2011
As new investments and attention galvanize action on African agriculture to reduce hunger, there is an urgent need for metrics that monitor agricultural progress beyond calories produced per capita and address nutritional diversity essential for human health. In this study we demonstrate how an ecological tool, functional diversity (FD), has potential to address this need and provide new insights on nutritional diversity of cropping systems in rural Africa. Data on edible plant species diversity, food security and diet diversity were collected for 170 farms in three rural settings in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Uganda. Nutritional FD metrics were calculated based on farm species composition and species nutritional composition. Nutritional FD metrics summarized the diversity of nutrients provided by the farm and showed variability between farms and villages. Regression of nutritional FD against species richness and expected FD enabled identification of key species that add nutrient diversity to the system and assessed the degree of redundancy for nutrient traits.

Growth without poverty reduction in Tanzania: Reasons for the mismatch
O Mashindano & F Maro, Chronic Poverty Research Centre Working Paper no. 207
This paper seeks to examine why economic growth in Tanzania in recent years has not led to poverty reduction in the country. One reason for this trend is attributed to inaccuracies in the reporting of economic data; a young, under-educated population, which is compounded by a heavy responsibility on women; and low growth rates in the agricultural sector, which accounts for the majority of the population, further exacerbate this trend. Investment to boost education and help workers move into better-rewarded sectors is vital to address poverty in Tanzania. Importantly, rural investments and training to rural farmers to increase production and processing capacities will substantially contribute rural poverty reduction and reduce rural-urban income inequality.

Uganda Agricultural News and Research Digest – September 23

Agricultural and Food Policy News

5000 farmers stranded with tea
Daily Monitor
About 5,000 farmers in Kabale District are stranded with tea leaves after government failed to put in place a processing plant as promised during the launch of a tea growing programme five years ago. The district council speaker said: “There is need for government’s urgent intervention in this matter because farmers here are frustrated after turning almost all their farm land for tea growing with high hopes of profits. Shortly after launching tea growing, the district council allocated land to the proposed investor to put up a factory but nothing has ever been done.”

Uganda faces malnutrition crisis
The Independent
Namutumba, because it has been in the news, is seen as an extreme case. However, a report by USAID notes that persistent high rates of malnutrition in children under five are common in Uganda. It says 38 percent suffer from chronic malnutrition (stunting). It shows that Uganda will not meet the MDG target to halve hunger and malnutrition by 2015 and says cases such as Namutumba are symptoms of the larger problems of inadequate access to food, suboptimal infant feeding practices and poor health, sanitation and hygiene practices.

Government releases UShs 2 billion for silos land
Daily Monitor
As part of government’s plans to boost strategic food reserves, government has released Shs2b to purchase land in 10 districts to erect silos. The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Cooperatives, Julius Onen, said each silo would store at least 25,000 metric tonnes of cereals or legumes though their capacities would be enhanced “depending on production”.

Coffee Berry Borer, Climate Change to geographically affect production of Arabica coffee
Africa Science News
Scientists from the Nairobi-based Icipe, forecast that, thanks to climate change, the future Arabica plantations in East Africa theoretically would need to move to higher areas despite increasing population pressure and growing food insecurity. This will be due to a rise in the populations of the coffee berry borer, world’s most important coffee pest.

Pressure on maize price grows impacting famine response
The cost of maize meal, a staple in many African countries, is set to go up, and wheat prices are heading in the same direction, according to the latest Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) global price update. Maize stocks in the USA, the world’s largest exporter, are at their lowest level for 30 years, and the high prices are also affecting wheat. “The price of maize could impact on the budgets of aid agencies responding to the crisis in the Horn,” Abdolreza Abbassian, secretary of the Intergovernmental Group on Grains at FAO said.

Agricultural and food policy research

Access to productive assets and impact on household welfare in rural Uganda
A Tatwangire, PhD thesis, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, 2011-09-21
This dissertation provides new evidence on the impact of access to productive assets on the welfare of rural farm households in Uganda. Different econometric methods are employed to identify key causal effects of interest. The major findings are that an increase in land operated, adult human capital, livestock endowment, and physical farm equipments was found to generate strong and significant poverty reduction effects. Human capital and livestock, and livestock and farm equipment appeared to be potential substitutes in the household production process. The relative marginal poverty reduction impacts were significantly higher for human capital than for farm equipments, livestock, and operated land.
Additional elements of this research can be found at The full dissertation can be found at (20 MB).

Food security projects for Africa: a case study from Uganda
F. Alinyo & T. Leahy, The Gift Economy
By looking at agricultural interventions in two districts in Eastern Uganda, we examine the ways in which the policy settings developed by the Ugandan government have failed to come to grips with the real drivers of food insecurity in the rural economy and we go on to suggest some alternative approaches which could be more effective. Our study shows that these interventions have achieved only minor successes in relieving rural poverty and strengthening food security. Programs that support prominent farmers with the aim of commercial development are unlikely to touch the poor. Food insecurity is related to the gendered division of agricultural work, control of cash income and the cycle of planting, harvest and crop sales for poor farmers. The article recommends a set of effective subsistence based strategies for poor farmers with an emphasis on the interests of women.

Forest sector Public Expenditure Reviews (Toolkit)
M Fowler with P Abbot, S Akroyd, J Channon, S Dodd. PROFOR. 2011
Sectoral public expenditure reviews (PER) can help diagnose spending problems and help countries develop more effective and transparent budget allocations that promote growth and reduce poverty. The guidance note covers the issues to be considered during the preparation phase of a forests sector PER, and in drawing up the Terms of Reference, the analysis that should be contained within the report, and a proposed structure for the report.

Urban food insecurity and the new international food security agenda
JS Crush… – Development Southern Africa, 2011
The new global and African food security agenda is overwhelmingly productionist and rural in its orientation, and is based on the premise that food insecurity is primarily a rural problem requiring a massive increase in smallholder production. This agenda is proceeding despite overwhelming evidence of rapid urbanisation and the growing likelihood of an urban future for the majority of Africans. Urban food insecurity can therefore no longer be ignored. This paper argues that achieving urban food security is the emerging development challenge for the 21st century and that the complexities of urban food systems urgently need to be addressed by researchers, policy makers, and international donors and multilateral agencies.

Future climate scenarios for Uganda’s tea growing areas
A few weeks ago, we included a link to a news item on a recent study done by scientists at CIAT, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, concerning the likely impact of climate change on tea production in Uganda. The research report from this study is now available on line at the link above. This report also includes some geographical suitability analysis under climate change for a range of other crops grown in Uganda, including maize, cassava, and pineapple.

Uganda Agricultural News and Research Digest – September 16

Agricultural and Food Policy News

Poverty programs misplaced-MPs
New Vision
Parliament wants the Government to restructure four of its misplaced programs and institutions to rightful homes for efficiency and to minimize costs due duplication of roles. SACCOS and Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) are some of the misplaced programs and institutions. Among the institutions targeted is the Presidential initiative on Banana Processing which now is under the Ministry of Finance but which MPs suggest should be transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries.

Increased production can solve Uganda crisis, say economists
East African Business Week
Economists argue that the easy way out of high inflation in Uganda is to boost agriculture. They say that though the Uganda government is currently exercising a liberalized economy, it should come out and support the agricultural sector to bring down food inflation – a major element that feeds into the headline inflation.

Cattle exports threatening beef industry – sector players claim
New Vision
The future of Uganda’s beef industry is bleak because of the high rate at which the animal population is declining, resulting into beef shortage on the local market. “About 75% of cattle come from western Uganda, but most of them are being bought by dealers from South Sudan and the DR Congo, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda. The Government should ban live cattle exports to stop the bad situation from turning worse,” Paul Mutsinzi, a management committee member at Kampala City Abattoir, noted.

Ugandan scientists join lobby for biotechnology law
Daily Monitor
Scientists, policy makers and other groups working to advance biotechnology science for national development have formed an association to add momentum in their push for the Biotechnology and Biosafety law. While launching the Uganda Biotechnology and Biosafety Consortium (UBBC) in Kampala last Friday, Mr Erostus Nsubuga, UBBC chairperson, said the coalition would enable the group form a strong unified voice that will call for fast-tracking the role of biotechnology in improving livelihoods of Ugandans.

Small seed packets could play big role in Africa’s battle against drought
The Guardian
If more small farmers in Africa’s drought-prone regions grew improved varieties of dryland crops, their communities would be better prepared for prolonged dry spells and scarce rain. Farmers traditionally cultivate these crops on part of their fields to feed their families: millet, sorghum, pigeonpea, chickpea, cowpea, beans etc. But yields are often low, partly due to lack of access to better seeds. If more smallholder farmers in drought-prone regions grew improved varieties of dryland crops, their communities would be better prepared for prolonged dry spells and scarce rain. The challenge is to get these seeds to farmers and encourage their use.

Model reveals hidden threats to cassava
Key cassava-producing regions thought to be safe may actually be hotspots for diseases and pests waiting to strike, a modelling study suggests. Researchers from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Colombia incorporated the current geographic distribution of four threats to cassava production — cassava brown streak disease, cassava mosaic disease, green mite and whitefly — into ecological niche models to predict their potential distribution. They found that some of the world’s major cassava-producing areas are at risk, including Africa’s Rift Valley

Agricultural and food policy research

Sharp fall in poor countries’ dependency on foreign aid
ActionAid – Real Aid 3 report
Aid dependency among 54 of the world’s poorest countries has declined by a third over the last decade, according to a new report from ActionAid. Some of the world’s poorest countries are now far less reliant on aid than 10 years ago. Dr Anna Thomas said: “Our research shows that more developing countries are becoming less dependent on aid and are able to rely increasingly on their own resources to deliver essential services. These results show we’re moving in the right direction – and means that good quality aid – real aid – is working.
The full report can be found here:

Do shocks affect men’s and women’s assets differently? – A review of literature and new evidence from Bangladesh and Uganda
AR Quisumbing, N Kumar, JA Behrman – IFPRI Discussion Paper, 2011
This background paper attempts to expand our understanding of the gender-differentiated impact of shocks on assets through a literature review on shocks and gendered asset dynamics and an analysis of new panel data (2007 and 2009) from Uganda and Bangladesh looking at the impact of negative shocks and positive events on men’s and women’s assets. We take advantage of detailed assets and shocks modules to disaggregate the type of shock between covariate and idiosyncratic shocks and types of assets according to ownership (joint, husband’s, and wife’s assets).

Agri-biotech in sub-Saharan Africa: Facts and figures
D Glover – SciDev.Net
African agricultural biotechnology research and development efforts are not evenly spread across the continent. While some countries such as South Africa have both institutional and regulatory agri-biotech capacity to rival some more developed nations, others, such as Angola, Botswana and the Gambia have not reported any agricultural biotechnology research and do not yet have fully functioning regulatory systems in place.

Uganda Agricultural News and Research Digest – September 7

Agricultural and Food Policy News

High food prices in Uganda re-ignite debate on agriculture role and funding 
The East African
Observers and the opposition are once again blaming food shortages and the current economic crisis in Uganda on the Treasury for not allocating enough resources to the agriculture sector. However, a school of thought now argues that this is actually a good thing, given the mismanagement that has characterised the sector, and the fact that money is now going to the infrastructure budget. “What business has the government funding agriculture? This should be left to private enterprise and equity funds. Agriculture is done by farmers, not governments. [Government] should supply research, extension services — but not even too much of that. Farmers know what they want to do,” says Dr Roberto Ridolfi, the EU head in Kampala.

Floods destroy Eastern Uganda districts
Daily Monitor
Residents of Bulambuli, Sironko, Pallisa, Budaka, Butaleja are still stranded after floods, destroyed their homes, crops and killed some animals. The floods have ravaged most low-lying areas near Mt. Elgon. Not only have homes been damaged, but more than 60 per cent of gardens containing rice, maize, cassava, cotton, sunflower and beans plantations have been destroyed and submerged by floods, officials say.

Farmers seek low-cost loans
New Vision
The Government has been urged to provide low interest loans farmers to improve agricultural production in the country. “Owing to the expansion of the regional food market, there is a need to increase agricultural output so that there is adequate food supply for the local and export markets,” the executive secretary of the Uganda Seed Traders Association, Job Chemutai, noted. Chemutai explained that it is difficult for farmers to access loans because most banks’ interest rate is above 21%, yet they are given a minimal period to pay back the loan.

Food zoning, a strategy to fight food insecurity
New Vision
Government and other stakeholders have been advised to use food zoning as another strategy to address insecurity in the country. “We should have a comprehensive plan for crops in different areas and look for a value chain of production. This includes bananas, cassava, and sorghum.” Prof John Muyonga, the dean of the school of food Technology, Nutrition and Bio engineering at Makerere University has advised.

Climatologists predict sharp drops in Uganda’s tea output in coming years
The East African
Uganda is projecting a six per cent rise in tea production this year on the back of increased use of fertilisers and acreage. However, in the longer term, climatologists are predicting sharp drops in output. Scientists said a progressive rise in temperatures, which will be evident by 2020 and peak in 2050, would lead to increased attacks from pests and diseases and lead to steep decline in tea production in Uganda.

Agricultural and food policy research

How Do Programs Work to Improve Child Nutrition?
SS Kim, JP Habicht, P Menon and RJ Stoltzfus – IFPRI Discussion Paper- 2011
This paper examines the program logic of three nongovernmental, community-based programs in the Peruvian highlands with different intervention models to reduce childhood stunting. Two programs focused directly on education and behavior change among caregivers, or the short routes to achieve impact, while one program focused on upstream factors, such as improving local governance and coordination, improving water and sanitation, and increasing family incomes, or the long routes to achieve impact. We compared the logic of each program as it was explicitly documented to the logic as perceived by the implementers.

Food Security Without Food Transfers?
AS Caria, S Tamra & G. Bizuneh – IFPRI Discussion paper- 2011
This paper looks at different approaches to improve food security in Ethiopia. Specifically, it compares the impacts on the access and availability dimensions of policy-based fertilizer subsidies, targeting yield growth against one of additional food transfers, sourced from local markets. It also explores the possibility of combining the subsidies with a switch to local procurement of current food transfers. The results point in two directions. First, the food transfer policy is more effective at raising consumption of staples by the targeted rural poor. Second, the moderate yield growth induced by the subsidy shows economic multipliers, stronger effects on domestic supply and welfare gains accruing to all poor through increased factor incomes and decreased staple prices. Yield growth seems a promising avenue to pursue food security and, more generally, poverty reduction goals.

Global Food Stamps: An Idea Worth Considering?
T Josling – ICTSD Programme on Agricultural Trade and Sustainable Development – 2011
This paper seeks to provide policy-makers and other stakeholders with an assessment of the extent to which an international scheme for targeted consumer food subsidies (akin to those provided under the US domestic ‘food stamp’ programme) could represent a practical contribution to overcoming food insecurity in developing countries, taking into account any implications such a scheme could have for trade flows and trade policies. In times of price volatility, the existence of a food stamps scheme to alleviate hardship among vulnerable groups in developing countries may give an additional mechanism for a response to the increased hardship that price increases bestow on the poor.