The demand for timber for the construction industry is one of the factors cited for the shrinking forest cover.
The situation is worsening the effects of climate change in the country.
Rising demand for rafter poles used in the construction of houses is driving up logging, which increased by 8.9% for two consecutive months ending 2018, a new survey shows.
The Producer Price Index for Agriculture, unveiled by Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) on Wednesday shows that while prices for agricultural commodities are declining, logging is up.
Except for rice, cereals (maize), legumes (beans, soybean), oil crops (ground nuts, sim sim) and fish, have experienced a price drop consecutively over the last two years.
The average prices reduced by 9.2% for the year ending December 2018 compared to a lower 8.6% decrease for the year ended November.
However, average prices in the forestry and logging category grew over the same period, which points to a lucrative business yet experts say is a reflection of growing dangers of deforestation.
It is estimated that Uganda loses about 90,000 hectares of forest cover every year, a situation that is worsening the effects of climate change in the country.
UBOS’ Patrick Okello (left) addresses the media at the bureau’s offices in Kampala flanked by the UBOS executive director Imelda Atai Musana. The director for agriculture and environment statistics at UBOS said the growth of Uganda’s real estate sector where demand for poles remains high.
Rafter poles are used to make reinforcements of the roof during construction. Poles are also in demand for electric power connections.
Uganda is the 12th African country to produce the index for agriculture. Some of the countries that have conducted the survey include Rwanda, South Africa, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Malawi.
The survey examines price changes for agricultural commodities in three areas: crop and animal production, fishing and aquaculture, and forestry and logging.