LONDON, June 10, 2008 (AFP) – Uganda is benefiting from the current hike in world food prices because it is a net producer of goods like bananas, its President Yoweri Museveni said here Tuesday. “We are very happy with the food crisis. Why? Because we produce a lot of food, and our problem has been the market,” Museveni said after a meeting of Commonwealth leaders in London to discuss institutional reform.
“We produce 10 million metric tonnes of bananas but 40 percent of it rots because we have nowhere to sell it,” he told a news conference. “We have been producing so much milk and pouring it (away) until recently when we had a processor from India and now we are selling it.”
With the current demand for food now higher, that meant Uganda could sell more of its bananas overseas, he said, adding also: “We are now feeding the world with our milk.”
Agriculture is the mainstay of Uganda’s economy, employing more than 80 percent of the country’s workforce. Coffee accounts for the majority of export revenue.
The veteran Ugandan leader said he did not believe the food crisis would be properly resolved until there was “a more rational interaction” by removing trade barriers.