The Government of Uganda through the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) has intervened to increase the production of key oil crops in the country specifically soyabeans and sunflower as a strategy to mitigate the skyrocketing prices of edible oils, cleaning products, and personal care items on both the local and international markets.
From 2021, crude palm oil prices hit record highs, along with soybean oil, sunflower oil, and other soft oils, which compete for a share in the vegetable oils market. The increase in crude palm oil prices has as well affected the prices of cleaning products especially soap and personal care products for which it is used as a raw material.
A bar of soap which was previously sold at 4,500 Shillings is now sold at not less than 7,000 Shillings at major outlets in Kampala, while a litre of cooking oil has increased from 5000 to 9,000 Shillings. Increases are also seen in the cost of margarine and other edible oils whose costing has gone up by at least 3000 Shillings.
The increment in prices is attributed to a disruption in the global supply chains of crude palm oil caused by the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic and worsened by the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
As a mitigation measure, Government allocated 9 billion shillings to NAADS Secretariat to support a strategic intervention for increasing the production of key oil crops notably sunflower and soyabean due to their high potential for vegetable oil extraction.