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Mak-MAAIF Partnership to Boost Extension Services Delivery

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Makerere University on 22nd November 2017 hosted the closing ceremony for the recently concluded refresher training in Extension Management for 300 technical staff from 122 District Local Governments in Uganda. The ceremony, held in the Main Hall was presided over by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF)-Mr. Pius Wakabi Kasajja, who represented the Minister Hon. Vincent Ssempijja.

In his remarks, the Hon. Ssempijja noted that the refresher training held under the Agricultural Technology and Agribusiness Advisory Services (ATAAS) project and is in line with MAAIF’s support to the National Development Plan (NDP).

“Through ATAAS, my ministry therefore seeks to strengthen the weak link between agricultural research and advisory services. Makerere is constantly churning out research and researchers and our staff from the District Local Governments are constantly interfacing with farmers. Refresher trainings of this nature are therefore the ideal vehicle through which technology service delivery can be strengthened and scaled up, and the integration of smallholder farmers in value chains can be promoted,” read Hon. Ssempijja’s speech.

In his personal remarks Mr. Kasajja outlined; Production and Productivity, Value Addition and Competitiveness – farmers’ produce satisfying market standards as three broad challenges that affect the agriculture sector in Uganda today. He made an impassioned appeal to the extension workers; as the MAAIF frontline, to take their jobs seriously in order to make agriculture work as it ought.

Permanent Secretary MAAIF, Mr. Pius Wakabi Kasajja addresses extension workers at the ceremony

“Extension services are the answer to transforming the agriculture sector and if you are unserious about your duties, I urge you to engage in something else,” warned Mr. Kasajja, before adding “Mindset change is going to be key if we are going to be the critical change agents and we shall at the opportune time organise a training for extension workers at the National Farmers’ Leadership Centre, Kampiringisa.”

He reassured the extension workers that it was no longer business as usual and as the country adopts agricultural zoning, each district’s extension services would be monitored by their contribution to growth in production and exports. Mr. Kasajja also urged the extension officers to encourage all farmers and households in their respective areas to each plant at least one tree per month in order to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Reaffirming Mr. Kasajja’s remarks, the Director Agriculture Extension Services, MAAIF-Mrs. Beatrice Byarugaba said, “We have asked the District Local Governments to submit at least two value chains to develop. For example, Kayunga has submitted Coffee and Dairy while Apac has submitted Maize and Cassava.”

Through agro-zoning, the District Local Governments are being urged to specialise in strategic, profitable and viable enterprises and value addition in the twelve priority commodities of; bananas, beans, maize, rice, cassava, Irish potatoes, tea, coffee, fruits and vegetables, dairy, fish, livestock (meat), and four strategic commodities of; cocoa, cotton, oil seeds, and oil palm. Mrs. Byaruhanga noted that through extension services, farmers will be given capacity to produce for factories in these priority and strategic commodities.

Director Agriculture Extension Services MAAIF, Mrs. Beatrice Byarugaba

“Through this refresher training, we have been able to reach 2,920 participants and our target is to train every extension worker in the system by June 2018. Participants have been trained at various Agricultural Institutes and at Makerere University with the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) and the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB),” added Mrs. Byaruhanga.

Representing the Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe the Principal CAES-Prof. Bernard Bashaasha thanked MAAIF for entrusting his college with this task of training District Production and Marketing Officers, District Agricultural Officers, District Veterinary Officers and District Fisheries Officers.

“This training was conducted in the three core areas: Agribusiness development; Agrochemicals and fertilizer optimization in modern crop husbandry; and Postharvest handling technology. I thank our staff from the Department of Agribusiness and Natural Resource Economics, the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bioengineering, and the Department of Agricultural Production for conducting these three courses respectively,” said Prof. Bashaasha.

The Vice Chancellor in his remarks noted that the refresher training was in line with Makerere’s core function of knowledge transfer partnerships and networking.
“Through this training, Makerere has been able to address the capacity gaps in extension management among extension workers within the current context of pluralistic extension,” read Prof. Nawangwe’s remarks.

Principal CAES-Prof. Bernard Bashaasha represented the Vice Chancellor at the closing ceremony

At CoVAB, participants have been able to learn about dry season feeding for ruminants, modern management techniques for ticks, as well as Dairy Value Chain and Meat Value Chain management.

Speaking on behalf of fellow participants, the District Production Officer (DPO) Masaka-Dr. Lawrence Mayega Nyombi expressed his gratitude to the ministry for organizing the refresher training. “Today is a great day because I don’t remember a single day throughout my 23year career when the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries assembled the cream of Uganda’s extension services for refresher training,” he said.

He observed that at a strategic level, extension services had become so fragmented especially with the addition of three to five new Local Governments every financial year, a trend that affected mobilisation and resource allocation.
He further expressed the need for MAAIF to come out with clear guidelines accompanying disbursement of extension grants, so as to prevent these funds from being diverted to other activities such as vaccination. “The Director Extension Services and her team should regularly brief the District Executives, to further emphasise the proper implementation of extension grants,” he added.

Dr. Mayega nevertheless lauded MAAIF through the Director Extension Services for constantly advocating for extension services and workers but requested the officials to further enhance their contribution to population of the Extension Information System by retooling the staff and providing facilitation in the form of gadgets such as laptops, smartphones and transportation.

Part of the audience that attended the Extension Training closing ceremon

On an inspiring note, Mr. David Balironda Mukasa, the District Production and Marketing Officer (DPMO) Kalangala shared their Oil Palm Growers Trust (KOPGT) model which he boasted had enabled extension farmers to profit enough from the crop to employ their own extension workers.

“We have implemented the People-Public-Private-Partnership (PPPP) in oil palm growing which has brought an agrarian revolution to Kalangala District. Farmers now have a SACCO to enable them to buy fertilisers and any inputs required. This model can be implemented in any value chain and I urge you to visit Kalangala like other visitors we have received from Austria, London, Canada and learn from us” said Mr. Mukasa.

Article by Public Relations Office

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4th Call For Applications: MURBS Departmental Ambassadors

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URBRA’s Mrs. Ritah Nansasi Wasswa (2nd L) assisted by Ag. University Secretary-Mr. Yusuf Kiranda (L) hands over a plaque of recognition to Outgoing Trustee-Ms. Dorothy Nannozi Kabanda (2nd R) as Incoming Trustee-Ms. Franco Angida Mugyema (R) applauds during the MURBS Board Handover on 26th March 2021.

In February 2018, the Makerere University Retirement Benefits Scheme (MURBS) launched the Departmental Ambassadors Programme. MURBS hopes to use this Ambassadors Programme to engage more directly with its membership and enhance member education. MURBS further perceives this Programme as a means to mitigate succession planning risks.

MURBS Fund Value continues to grow, and as at 31st March 2021, it stood at Ushs 235.5bn as compared to Ushs 209.6bn as at 30th June 2020. Given this growth, there is increased need for prospective Trustees, who are well equipped with relevant knowledge and skills, and with practical exposure to the management and governance of MURBS.

Eligibility

  1. Must be employed by the University on permanent terms
  2. Must be an Active Member of the Scheme (currently contributing to the Scheme) and appear on the Official Register of the MURBS Active Membership as at 30th April 2021.
  3. Must be willing to commit time to trainings and other ambassadorial activities organised by the Scheme.

Mode of training for 4th Cohort of Ambassadors

Training for this (4th) Cohort of Ambassadors is envisaged to be conducted over the zoom online platform only, due to Covid-19 restrictions. The Scheme does not envisage any face-to-face interactions.

Tenure of Office & Termination or Withdrawal

There is no tenure of office for the Departmental Ambassador. As long as a member is willing to continue serving as an Ambassador, and the Ambassador continues to satisfy the eligibility criteria above, she or he will remain a MURBS Ambassador.

How to Apply

Interested members should complete the MURBS Departmental Ambassador Application Form 01-0218. The completed Form together with the requested attachments should be sent to info[at]murbs.mak.ac.ug and copy to wilber.naigambi[at]mak.ac.ug no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, 14th June 2021. We discourage hand delivery of applications.

Confirmation/Approval Process

MURBS shall acknowledge receipt of each application received within 12 hours and will respond to the applicants to confirm the status of their application in writing (by e-mail). Upon approval of the application, the name of the approved Ambassador together with the Department and School/Unit will be updated on the list of the MURBS Departmental Ambassadors in the Group 4 category and published on the MURBS website.

NOTE: There is no limit as to the number of ambassadors that MURBS can have in a department.

Please see Downloads for the detailed call and application form.

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Chair Council Communication on Closure of Makerere University

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An older photo of the Main Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda as seen from across the Freedom Square. Date taken: 22nd October 2012.

7th June 2021

All Members of Staff
All Students and Stakeholders
Makerere University

RE: CLOSURE OF MAKERERE UNIVERSITY

Following the address to the Nation by H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of Uganda, on 6th June 2021, this is to inform you that the University will be closed with effect from today 7th June 2021 for 42days.

During the closure, the University shall observe a 30% physical presence of staff while other faculty and administrative staff shall continue to work online.

Management will inform staff and students on the implementation of teaching, learning, and research activities online. Construction activities shall continue as per the President’s directives and with strict adherence to the COVID-19 SOPs.

Yours sincerely,

Lorna Magara (Mrs.)
Chairperson, Makerere University Council

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RUFORUM: Transforming Higher Education Videos and Links

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Delegates brainstorm during the 15th RUFORUM AGM held at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in Ghana from 2-6 December, 2019. Photo credit: RUFORUM

Video Series developed by Julieta Mazzola, EARTH University.

English

  1. What is Community Engagement?  Video 1 of 3.  https://youtu.be/etv2-W1U3O0
  2. Different Forms of University Engagement with the Community. Video 2 of 3. https://youtu.be/73h2p8P0BLw
  3. Student learning through Community Engagement. Video 3 of 3. https://youtu.be/Ule3P1-tjC4

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