WTO Rules Must Address Food Security Needs of Developing Countries
A United Nations independent rights expert called for policy changes that will allow developing countries the freedom to use their reserves to help secure the right to food without the threat of sanctions under current World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. "Supporting local food production is the first building block on the road to realizing the right to food, and trade must complement local production, not justify its abandonment," the expert said, warning that food security is at high risk when countries become overly dependent on global markets, as shown during the global food crisis of 2007-08.
State in new fight for control of Kenya Seed with ex-CEO
The fight for control of Kenya Seed Company has moved back to court as the government seeks to stop the former managing director Nathaniel Tum from convening a shareholders meeting on December 10th, which was gazette in a press notice. The extraordinary general meeting will uphold or cancel a decision made in 2000 to offer executives of KSC a 12.8 per cent stake. Agricultural Development of Kenya (ADC) which holds shares in the KSC on behalf of the government claims that the December 10 meeting is illegal since it has been called by non-shareholders. The State-owned agro based firm reckons the company’s register has not been rectified after the court annulled the 2001 privatisation.
Siaya farmers cultivate better farm methods to boost yields
Farmers in Siaya County have been urged to apply the right types of fertiliser to improve yields and attain food security by the Assistant Programme Director of the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) Samuel Njoroge who said the institute would partner with the ministry of Agriculture on a four- year project to teach farmers best farm practices and fertiliser use. Speaking at a two-day workshop in Siaya town, he added that the training was aimed at equipping local farmers with skills and the knowledge to identify the different types of fertiliser needed to boost yields and to safeguard food security.
Seed company says has enough stock for next planting season
Kenya Seed Company (KSC) has assured maize farmers of the availability of enough seeds ahead of the next planting season amid growing concerns of a possible shortage. This comes after farmers in Trans Nzoia queried the company’s preparedness ahead of the planting that starts in January after it emerged that the region had experienced bad yields this season. The farmers also sought to know whether the hailstorms that destroyed 700 acres of the seed crop at the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) had adverse effects.
NCPB Gets Fertiliser for Next Planting Season
The National Cereals and Produce Board has received 40,000 tonnes of fertiliser, a Parliamentary committee member has said. Silas Tiren, who sits on the Parliamentary Committee on Agricultural, said another 120,000 tonnes are the way. Director Kenya Farmers Association Kipkorir Menjo said farmers should test the acidity of soils in their farms before they take the fertilizer.
Government faults dealers on Minjingu
The government has hinted at possible sabotage by chemical fertiliser dealers over the use of locally-produced Minjingu fertiliser. The deputy minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Mr Adam Malima, has hinted that the improved Minjingu (NSP+) fertiliser did not have quality problem. He said the problem was with extension officers who failed to train farmers on its proper use.
Nuisance Taxes may be waived
Pay As You Earn and import duty on agricultural equipment spare parts are among the several sources of taxation being reviewed by the government in quest to address some of the concerns paraded by employees and farmers. This follows a report by PWC showing that the local workers are the highly taxed in the EAC region.
Prioritize agriculture sector, MPs tell Government
MPs have asked government to design concrete measures geared towards improving the agriculture sector as a backbone of Uganda’s economy. Despite importance of sector to the economy, MPs noted that the sector’s performance has not been impressive in recent years. The real growth rate in agriculture output declined from 7.9 percent in 2000/01 to 3.0 percent in 2011/12. Agriculture in Uganda is dominated by small scale farmers who occupy the majority of land and produce most of the crop and livestock products. The study conducted in eight districts in Uganda revealed that the key out-standing challenge of small holder farmers is low productivity stemming from lack of access to markets.
Shilling expected to stay strong against US dollar
Low demand coupled with reduced inflows from the offshore investors has helped Uganda’s foreign exchange market to stay stable with the shilling making a slight appreciation against the US dollar. By yesterday, the shilling was trading in the range of 2525 to 2530 against US Dollar with the demand and supply matching. Market Outlook by Centenary Bank indicates that shilling is expected to remain firm in the short-term on the back of end-month dollar conversions. The stable currency environment is good for importers and exporters, given that they are in a better position to predict their operational costs. However, a strong Shilling means importers will spend less to import goods while exporters will earn less from their exports.
Government releases sh113.1b for roads maintenance
The Government has released sh113.1b for the maintenance of roads in the second quarter (Q2) of the current 2013/ 14 financial year. A press statement from the Uganda Road Fund (URF) shows that sh84.7b was disbursed to the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), sh3.1b to Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and 111 districts (sh10.1b). Additionally, sh3.4b was disbursed to the 22 municipalities in the country, sh4.79b to 174 town councils and sh6.96b to 1, 105 sub-counties.
Regional traders to benefit from quick money transfer
Ugandan traders will be able to transfer money across borders in the East African region within a day thanks to a new initiative that has inter-linked the region’s central banks. The initiative which is part of the projects by the East African Community member states to grow their capital markets has taken effect in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania while Rwanda and Burundi are expected to join later. The East African Cross Border Payment System (EAPS) will use the Real Time Gross Settlement system (RTGS), which has been operational since 2005 where settlements are made immediately unlike the previous two to three days taken to receive the money previously. Unlike the previous system that involved using a third party correspondent bank, the new system allows someone to walk into any commercial bank in the region, and ask to transfer money across the border. But there must be a currency conversion first.