This year’s 1st May International labour day world over will be celebrated amidst an unpredented rise in commodity prices post World War II, caused by Covid19 and its effects on production and productivity and the Russia-Ukrain war which has added its share of collateral damage globally.
In terms of policy, different Governments are responding differently to the phenomenon of rising commodity prices and indeed that’s what makes the real difference. Thomas Dye, a scholar of the public policy says the policy is what government Chooses to do or not to do about a given problem.
In Uganda for example the leadership has and is still responding to this problem using a multifaceted approach. H.E the President of Uganda has also met with Members of Parliament to discuss and agree on a workable solution to the problem of high prices. However, our relief may not be immediate, some bit of patience is therefore needed.
As a student of economics, I have also been revising my notes and I discover that here is what’s is called the invisible economic hand that moderates the world economics and that’s the forces of demand and supply. Demand is the willingness to buy, backed by the actual ability to pay and supply on the other hand is the market availability of goods and services, including production of the same.
Today the world is in a crisis of high commodity prices due to the effect on both the demand side of the economy and the supply side. The effect on demand is characterised by a low and sometimes lack of purchasing power. On the other hand, supply is affected by low production and productivity due to the rising cost of production.
At the policy and intervention level, therefore, it’s important that Government now embark on projects and programs which in the short and medium-term address, the twin challenges of demand and supply looking at enhancing the purchasing power of individual households and subsidizing production, while increasing productivity.
The above interventions should happen at both micro and macro levels of the economy targeting households, firms, companies and industries.
For the households, I suggest speedy rolling out of the Parish development model implementation, throughout the country and also taking advantage of the current agricultural season which has just started throughout Uganda.
The 100million Uganda shillings government is going to disburse per parish will the immediate increase purchasing power of the households, who will demand agric inputs hence availing suppliers with badly needed financial resources for increasing production and productivity. For me, this looks simple but it can turn the wheels of our economy provided all actors hold onto first things first, that’s the Parish model architects, delivering on what the H.E. the President said engaging households in agriculture with Kibalo, that’s to say the emphasis on working for money as opposed to food security only.
Holding all other factors constant, and if our farming households can earn 20milliion to 30million annually, the rising commodity prices can be turned into a blessing in disguise because also there has been anger about low commodity prices which affect our farmer’s incomes. So the point is, our future in the new world economy will all depend on how our governments, households, firms and industries respond to the current challenge.
For the workers in the formal and the informal sectors of the economy, while we congratulate and thank you for your enormous contributions in balancing the boat by availing goods and services to meet our needs, I dedicate to you an encouragement message from Apostle Paul, he says;
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24”
The author is a cadre, Public Administrator /Policy Analyst.
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