Johannesburg - The Ugandan government has warned of impending famine in most parts of the country, cautioning traders to limit food exports and families to start food rationing, the Daily Monitor reported on Tuesday.
State Minister for Agriculture, Christopher Kibanzanga, issued the warning on Monday saying that there would not be enough food in the country as he appealed to farmers not to take everything to the market.
“Traders should sell food to areas like eastern Uganda, northern Uganda and the Karamoja sub-region which do not have food,” said Kibanzanga.
The warnings of impending famine follow a shortage of rainfall during the usually rainy season of March when plentiful rainfall was initially predicted, with the Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) urging farmers to proceed with planting crops. While initially there were showers, these soon stopped, with scorching heat causing crops to wilt.
The shortage of rain has been attributed, according to the UNMA, to the tropical cyclone which last month ravaged Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Madagascar and left an estimated 1 000 people dead.
The cyclone led to the development of a low-pressure system around the Mozambique Channel which resulted in the weakening of south-easterly trade winds. These winds were diverted towards the channel, depriving moisture-laden winds from reaching Uganda.
Kampala now plans to support mini and large scale irrigation schemes across the country in an endeavour to minimise over-reliance on rain-fed agriculture as it is done currently.
African News Agency (ANA)