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Highlights of the 20th Anniv. of Dept. of Food Science

  • In Sciences
  • 8 Oct 2009 - 4:49pm
  • By Anonymous (not verified)
  • 168
The Origin of the Department of Food Science and Technology can be traced back to when the Department was approved as an academic unit in the then Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry by the Makerere University Council in 1987.

The two lead-persons involved in the establishment of the department, including compilation of the curriculum used by the first student intake, were the late Prof. J.S. Mugerwa (then Dean, Faculty of Agriculture & Forestry) and Dr. David Muduuli (then Senior Lecturer, Department of Soil Science). Dr. Paul Hansen from Ohio State University also made a strong input in the curriculum development.

In 1989, Dr. Muduuli was appointed as the first Head of the newly established Department of Food Science and Technology, which was by then assigned only three offices in the Faculty of Agriculture. In the same year Dr. Kasirye Alemu, having been appointed Executive Director UNBS, joined the group as a part time lecturer.

The last 20 years have seen steady growth in student numbers and department space from the initial 12 male and 2 female students to over 400 graduates thus far housed in a 4000 square meter complex located on the western end of the Makerere University Main Campus with well furnished lecture rooms, teaching and research labs, a library, a computer lab, meeting rooms, a conference hall and a pilot plant. The pilot plant is being equipped to host the Technology and Business Incubation Center (TBIC).

To commemorate the last two decades of fulfilling growth, the Department currently headed by Assoc. Professor John H. Muyonga (PhD), a pioneer student himself and recipient of the TWAS prize for Young Scientists by the Uganda National Council of Science and Technology organized a series of events aimed at raising awareness.

FST Charity Walk thru Kla StreetsThe first of these was a charity walk held on 26th September 2009 aimed at raising a total of 65,280,000 Uganda Shillings for the purchase of laboratory equipment. The walk, which started at the Department’s complex, saw walkers go through Wandegeya, Yusuf Lule road to Garden City, Jinja road, Parliamentary and Kimathi Avenues, Speke Road and back to Makerere University Main Campus. The Chief Walker was Professor James Mulwana and the walkers included Professor Ddumba Ssentamu, then acting Vice Chancellor and the Dean of Agriculture, Professor Sam Kyamanywa.

Products on Display

Exhibitions, which run from 30th September to 2nd October 2009, provided an opportunity for industrialists and researchers to showcase their innovations in the food industry to the general public and also forge ties between themselves and other stakeholders. Some of the products on display included Pasteurized banana Juice, indigenous malted and fermented cereal products, Sorghum flakes, Tomato paste, Jackfruit Jam, Watermelon wine, Campus water, Gooseberry Jam, Chutney, Gooseberry juice, peanut butter, Mango sauce, Bee products like honey, propolis and wine. Also on exhibition were services like Body Mass Index and blood glucose measurement for healthy lifestyle promotion.

A dialogue was also held from 30th to 1st October 2009, during which food industry stakeholders took time off to reflect on the performance of the sector and develop strategies for its strengthening. The dialogue was officially opened by Honorable Simon Lokodo, Minister of State for Industry and was addressed by the Dean Faculty of Agriculture Professor Samuel Kyamanywa and the Head of the Department of Food Science & Technology. The FAO Country representative H.E. Percy Misika presented a paper titled. Addressing hunger and food shortage in the face of climate change.

Other papers presented are listed below:

  • Quality and competitiveness of the food industry in Uganda by Mr. H. Ngabirano of UCDA
  • The role of standards in food businesses by Gyavira Musoke of Uganda Bureau of Standards
  • Modernization of Agriculture in Uganda: Role of Agricultural Scientists by Prof. Bernard Bashasha – Faculty of Agriculture
  • Food Science impacting on grass root development by Dr Florence Muranga Department of Food Science & Technology
  • Versatility of a Food Science graduate by Gorret Massade of Trusts Bank
  • Higher Education for a knowledge based food industry by Prof. William Kyamuhangire – DFST
  • Nutrition as a business/ service to address Uganda’s dynamic nutritional challenges by Dr R. Mwadime of the RCQHC
  • Harnessing university - private sector partnerships for development by Joseph Rubalema of Uganda Industrial Research Institute


The participants at the dialogue resolved to continue working towards promoting University-Industry linkage for mutual benefit.

President greeting officials upon arrival at FSTOn the final day of the anniversary, as the sun started to dip over the horizon a gentle breeze heralded the arrival of the Chief Guest, His Excellency, President of the Republic of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. After being received by the Minister of State for Higher Education Hon. Mwesigwa Rukutana, the Minister of State for Industry Hon. Simon Lokodo and members of the University Administration, the President led by the Head of Department Assoc. Prof. John Muyonga and Assoc. Prof. Joyce Kikafunda went ahead to tour the stalls and admire the products on display.

President officially opens the Incubation Center

His Excellency then proceeded to officially open the Food Technology and Business Incubator. The incubator will provide support services to small food processors to enhance their chances of success. Incubation is a proven mechanism for enterprise development. In this regard The Department of Food Science and Technology at Makerere University is taking the lead in provision of incubation services for the food sector.

President tours the newly opened facility

 

The president was then shown around the facility by a team led by Dr. Yusuf Byaruhanga, the Chairman of the Food Technology and Business Incubation Committee, assisted by Dr. Mohammed Sserunjogi and Mr. Joseph Balamaze. The team demonstrated the extraction of orange and process for making tomato sauce, among others.

H.E. Norwegian Ambasador to Uganda with other officialsAfter his tour of the Food Technology and Business Incubator, the President addressed a gathering of Government officials, University Members of staff and members of the business community in the Department’s Conference Hall. Also in attendance was Her Excellency Bjorg S. Leite, the Ambassador Royal Republic of Norway to Uganda. In his speech, the President emphasized the importance of value addition and promised to help student groups, whose stalls he had toured earlier help to commercialize their products. He also promised to help the Department to more food processing and laboratory equipment and agreed to be the patron to the newly opened Food Technology and Business Incubation Center.

Addressing some of the grievances faced by the upcoming entrepreneurs, the president promised to help the department overcome the problem of food packaging by linking them to producers of packaging materials. He further reiterated government’s commitment to improve pay for scientists and help pursue improvement in research funding.

He then handed out awards to five organizations/individuals for their contribution to the department

To the Government and People of the Royal Kingdom of Norway for helping fund construction of the Department’s 3.8 billion Uganda Shillings home

 

 Associate Professor Joyce Kikafunda , who served as the Head of Department for 12 years

 

Dr. David Muduuli – the first Head of Department

Dr. Kasirye-Alemu receives her reward

 

Dr. Eve Kasirye-Alemu – for her selfless service to the Department

 

Mr. Benjamin Sentongo – for his long and dedicated service to the Department

Finally, His Excellency flanked by the Acting Vice Chancellor Prof. Lillian Tibatemwa-Ekirikubinza, The Head of Department, and The Minister of State for Higher Education cut the cake commemorating the 20th anniversary and marking an end to the celebrations.

 

President cuts anniv. cake with officials

 

 

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