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The short-term impact of higher food prices on poverty in Uganda

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  • Simler, Kenneth R.

Abstract

World prices for staple foods increased between 2006 and 2008, and accelerated sharply in 2008. Initial analysis indicated that the adverse effects of higher food prices in Uganda were likely to be small because of the diversity of its staple foods, high level of food self-sufficiency, and weak links with world markets. This paper extends the previous analyses, disaggregating by regions and individual food items, using more recent price data, and estimating the impact on consumption poverty. The analysis finds that poor households in Uganda tend to be net buyers of food staples, and therefore suffer welfare losses when food prices increase. This is most pronounced in urban areas, but holds true for most rural households as well. The diversity of staple foods has not been an effective buffer because of price increases across a range of staple foods. The paper estimates that both the incidence and depth of poverty have increased -- at least in the short run -- as a result of higher food prices in 2008, increasing by 2.6 and 2.2 percentage points, respectively. The increase in poverty is highest in the Northern region, which is already the poorest in Uganda. The need for mitigating social protection measures appears to be greater than previously recognized. Not only are the negative impacts larger, but they are also much more widespread geographically. This suggests the need for continued close monitoring of the situation, including monitoring the adequacy of existing safety nets and feeding programs.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5210.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2010
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5210

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Related research

Keywords: Food&Beverage Industry; Rural Poverty Reduction; Regional Economic Development; Markets and Market Access;

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Cited by:
  1. Elizabeth Jane Casabianca, 2012. "Distributional effects of preferential and multilateral trade liberalization: the case of Paraguay," FIW Working Paper series 083, FIW.
  2. Delphine Boutin, 2011. "D'une crise à l'autre : mesurer l'impact des prix alimentaires sur la pauvreté," Working Papers hal-00637608, HAL.
  3. Ssewanyana, Sarah N. & Kasirye, Ibrahim, 2010. "Food security in Uganda: a dilemma to achieving the millennium development goal," Research Series 113614, Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC).
  4. repec:laf:wpaper:201106 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. D'Souza, Anna & Jolliffe, Dean, 2010. "Food Security in Afghanistan: Household-level Evidence from the 2007-08 Food Price Crisis," 2010 Annual Meeting, July 25-27, 2010, Denver, Colorado 61139, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  6. Anna D'Souza & Dean Jolliffe, 2012. "Rising Food Prices and Coping Strategies: Household-level Evidence from Afghanistan," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(2), pages 282-299, August.
  7. Boysen, Ole, 2013. "High Food Prices and their Implications for Poverty in Uganda From Demand System Estimation to Simulation," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150700, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  8. Delphine Boutin, 2011. "D’une crise à l’autre : Mesurer l’impact des prix alimentaires sur la pauvreté," Larefi Working Papers 1106, Larefi, Université Bordeaux 4.
  9. Boysen, Ole & Matthews, Alan, 2012. "The differentiated effects of food price spikes on poverty in Uganda," 123rd Seminar, February 23-24, 2012, Dublin, Ireland 122445, European Association of Agricultural Economists.

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