More than half of the adult population in Uganda is employed in the agriculture and fishery industries, with an estimated 36 percent engaging in subsistence agriculture. Despite the importance of agriculture to Uganda’s economy, however, the country continues to suffer from high rates of food insecurity. Small-scale farmers are often particularly hard hit by the cycle of poverty and hunger due to the vulnerability of their livelihoods to price shocks, extreme weather events, and other disruptions.
Conflict continues to drive acute food insecurity and food assistance needs in Sudan, according to a recent FEWS Net alert.
Fighting in the country has expanded into Sudan’s southeast region, a major agricultural production and food storage area. The region typically accounts for more than 50 percent of Sudan’s annual domestic cereal production. Conflict-led disruptions to both agricultural production and trade, including destruction of infrastructure, pose a substantial threat to food availability throughout the country, reports FEWS Net.
Global fertilizer markets experienced significant price surges beginning in 2020 and through 2022 due to a combination of factors, including higher natural gas prices, supply chain disruptions triggered by COVID-19, trade disruptions due to the Russia-Ukraine war, and export restrictions. Although parallel increases in international agricultural commodity prices may have cushioned these price shocks, insufficient availability and affordability of fertilizers are likely to have affected yield and profitability of smallholder production systems.
The recent attacks of Yemen-based Houthi rebels on ships in the Red Sea have paralyzed shipping through the Suez Canal, forcing exporters in the Black Sea region and elsewhere to consider alternative—and more costly—shipping routes. In early January, A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, the world's second-largest container ship company, announced it would suspend shipments through the Red Sea. Trade volumes in the Suez Canal are down an estimated 40% since the attacks began.
Extreme weather events and the long-term impacts of climate change pose a major risk for Africa south of the Sahara, threatening agricultural production and economic growth and hindering efforts to reduce poverty and food insecurity. Climate-smart agricultural practices (CSAPs) can help farmers better adapt to and mitigate these risks; however, the adoption of such practices in the region remains low.