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Beyond the Farmgate Local & Regional Trade Policy - Uganda. John Magnay – Vice Chairman [email protected] Uganda Grain Traders Ltd. UGANDA. Consistent Surplus Food Producer Two Seasons per Year Internal Market driven by informal Processing & Consumption with no large millers

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Beyond the farmgate local regional trade policy uganda

Beyond the FarmgateLocal & Regional Trade Policy - Uganda

John Magnay – Vice Chairman

[email protected]

Uganda Grain Traders Ltd


  • Consistent Surplus Food Producer

  • Two Seasons per Year

  • Internal Market driven by informal Processing & Consumption with no large millers

  • Maize is not the major staple food

    Market Driven by

  • Informal Regional Trade

  • Relief Food / WFP purchases

Uganda Grain Traders Ltd

The positive internal initiatives
The Positive Internal Initiatives

  • Establishing Farmers’ Organisations & Primary Societies for training, inputs and marketing

  • Market Information systems – mobile phone, email, internet, newspapers, radio

  • Direct Market Links for specific crops – Sunflower, Dried Cassava, Barley & Sorghum for brewing

  • Improved Input Distribution & Micro Finance

  • Diversifying production to Import Substitution – Rice, Oil seeds, Barley

  • Establishment of Warehouse Receipt legislation

Uganda Grain Traders Ltd

The positive regional initiatives
The Positive Regional Initiatives

  • Regional meetings to “discuss” regional trade

  • Establishment of EAC Standards for Crops

  • “Maize without Borders” – nil taxes

  • Regional Market Information

Uganda Grain Traders Ltd

The issues internal
The Issues - Internal

  • Producers only have 60 days to harvest / dry / sell before the next season

  • Wet harvests / poor on farm storage

  • Lack of Input finance for producers due to uncertain Output market prices

  • No focus on Quality / Storable Grain

  • Banks reluctant to finance WRS stocks

    Price & Market Risk!

Uganda Grain Traders Ltd

The issues regional
The Issues - Regional

  • In the absence of the Relief Food market, the regional market only provides a “spot” market signal and opportunity

  • No regional mechanism for “futures”, therefore “no stocks”

  • Regional shortages occur out of Uganda harvest season.

    The Catch 22

Uganda Grain Traders Ltd

Finance within the grain trade
Finance within the Grain Trade

  • The Relief Market trade is currently financed by $ 25million-worth of orders creating $ 20million worth of finance with the grain processors. Processors use the WFP contracts to borrow the working capital to execute the contract. Typical financing period is 2 months

  • The Informal Trade market is driven by finance from the Kenyan buyers. Typical financing period is 7 days.

    Loss of the Relief Market and Spot sales to Kenya causes immediate crisis in the Uganda Market

Uganda Grain Traders Ltd

4 grain crashes in uganda in 20 years
4 Grain Crashes in Uganda in 20 years

  • 1987-8 – Govt sponsored increases in production – the Grow more Food Campaign – typical of input intervention scenario.

  • 1995 – dramatic increase in demand for Relief food in 1994 for Rwanda led to increased production in ’95 with no demand for Rwanda.

  • 2001 – loss of Kenya informal trade market, due a seasonal surplus in Kenya (despite an annual deficit).

  • 2005 – wet harvest / large surplus / unsympathetic purchase by WFP / short term surplus in Kenya – a short term problems with an impact on 2006 Food Security

Uganda Grain Traders Ltd

Regional markets
Regional Markets

  • AFRICA has got to accept the climatic effect on regional production.

  • Surplus and Deficit production are compounded into market-exaggerated-spot markets – highs and lows

  • Potential shortages in any market provide very little financial signal until they become actual shortages

  • Short-term surpluses normally lead to immediate market collapse

  • Banks consider financing stocks a huge price risk in the absence of hedging mechanisms.

    The usual outcome of surpluses is to leave the problem with the producers – with a knock on effect micro-finance and input supply and further perception of increased price risk

Uganda Grain Traders Ltd

The way forward
The Way Forward

  • East Africa needs to recognise the importance of inter-dependancy to achieve food security and market stability.

  • The Region should move to Standardised Quality Grain trade which can be stored, collateralised and traded through a (regional) Commodity Exchange.

  • As a food deficit country, Kenya should take the lead on development of the formal market.

  • Regional Govt. should recognise the distortions of national Govt. intervention on stocks and pricing – increasing Price Risk to commercially stored grain.

Uganda Grain Traders Ltd

The way forward uganda
The Way Forward - Uganda

  • As an interim measure to promote:-

    • Investment in Cleaning, Drying & Storage facilities

    • Standardised Quality Grain

    • Use of Warehouse Receipts

    • Bank finance for production, processing and stored grain

  • There is a need for Output Market support to remove the perceived price risk.

Uganda Grain Traders Ltd

Use of a price risk fund
Use of a Price Risk Fund

  • Establish pre-planting price for Quality Grains to be purchased or warehoused at harvest.

  • Build stocks for trading, out-of-season, to the regional markets

  • Provide the Stocks – Storage – Finance precursors for a Regional Commodity Exchange

Uganda Grain Traders Ltd

The end game
The End Game

  • Regional Commodity Exchange with spot and future trading options to support

    • Production

    • Investment

    • Warehoused stocks

    • Commercial Finance

    • Increased Food Security through increased commercial stocks

Uganda Grain Traders Ltd