Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Uganda 'happy' about food crisis

I came across this on the Poverty News Blog ( who cites the BBC as the source. If trade barriers can be removed, then it is possible that a great deal of long term good could come from (relatively) short term hardship.
Uganda 'happy' about food crisis
from the BBC

The president of Uganda says he is "very happy" about the food crisis.

"Why? Because we produce a lot of food... We are stuck with food," President Yoweri Museveni told Commonwealth heads of government.

The president hopes the food crisis will prompt the removal of trade barriers, allowing countries like Uganda to profit from food surpluses.

A BBC correspondent says most benefits are going to large, commercial farms, while poor Ugandans are suffering.

The BBC's Sarah Grainger in Uganda says most of the population are subsistence farmers, who do not export their crops but are affected by the rising cost of fuel and other inputs.

But overall food production has risen in recent years.

Uganda's growth rate is expected to reach 8.9% later on this year, up from 6.5% last year, partly due to debt relief.

"Our problem has been marketing... We produce 10 million metric tonnes of bananas and 40% of it rots because we have nowhere to sell it," President Museveni told delegates.

President Museveni said milk production had risen so rapidly, it had been poured away.

That was until Uganda set up a recent agreement with an Indian processor plant: excess milk is now being shipped to India.

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