April2008

Rising food prices: Time for Governments to discipline the market The sharp increase in food prices over the past couple of years has raised serious concerns about the food and nutrition situation of poor people in East Africa that is only recovering from the effects of the recent Kenyan crisis. Today, in Uganda for example, one can only get essential commodities (like sugar, soap, cooking oil and paraffin) at prices that have at least doubled within less than six months. This has been explained by global factors like promotion of biofuels, high prices of energy and growing consumer power in the developed countries, while some technocrats and politicians maintain that Uganda’s ‘Dubai-like-position’ (serving the DRC, South Sudan and others) can explain the mounting prices for food and other essential commodities.