On 23rd May 2018, 40 Directors from USAID Feed the Future Innovation Labs visited Makerere University Department of Agribusiness and Natural Resource Economics (DANRE). The remarkable visit aimed at assessing the progress of the DANRE/KSU project of Up-Grading and Enhancing the Institutional Capacity of the Department.
The DANRE/KSU Project concept was developed in 2011. In 2014, Virginia Tech carried out the initial DANRE scoping study followed by the DANRE Capacity Building Proposal submitted to USAID in 2015. A four-year project was approved and Michigan State University and the Borlaug Higher Education for Agricultural Research and Development (BHEARD) program were brought on board in 2015. BHEARD released an RFA to network universities in 2016. Six applications were received and reviewed, and three applications were selected for further evaluation. Makerere University Department of Agribusiness and Natural Resource Economics (DANRE) partnered with Kansas State University (KSU) Department of Agricultural Economics to implement the objectives of the project.
The specific objectives of the project are:
- To restructure and review the curricula structure of two postgraduate and undergraduate Programs including development of a taught PhD program
- To strengthen DANRE’s unit for agricultural research and analysis
- To Up-grade communication and instruction methods available to staff members
According to Dr. Jackline Bonabana-Wabbi, a Senior Lecturer and Postgraduate Programmes Coordinator in the Department of Agribusiness and Natural Resource Economics, the project focused on Developing a strategic Plan to improve the educational program and teaching capacity of the department as well as enhancing its grantsmanship.
“Our approaches and strategies centred on quality enhancement and assurance in teaching, research & outreach. We also considered establishing a value system based on excellence, efficiency, empathy, integrity and accountability. The Project is ready to look at the Multidisciplinary approach of engaging persons from other academic disciplines and backgrounds to contribute towards its cause. We will also lobby the top university leadership to gain access to university resources and facilities as well as engaging in Networking and building strategic relationships and partnerships with industry and other relevant stakeholders,” she said.
In a presentation, the Head of the Department of Agribusiness and Natural Resource Economics Dr. Gabriel Elepu was optimistic that the project will meet its intended goals in the specified period of time.
“Three (3) PhD students have been placed at KSU and a strategic plan for DANRE was drafted and finalized. We also organised a successful Colloquium on Trading in Global Agricultural Economy (Coffee GVC). A Collaboration Draft taught PhD curriculum and other curricula (PGD, BSc. AAE, MSc NR&E) is ongoing, Call for small grants proposals has been done with the Exchange visits of administrators and faculty members taking place. We therefore hope that by September 2021, we shall have reached our intended goals,” he remarked.
He thanked the Dean, School of Agricultural Sciences Prof. John Mugisha and the Principal of College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Prof. Bernard Bashaasha for providing an apposite leadership that has enabled a successful implementation of the project. In the same spirit, Dr. Gabriel Elepu thanked the USAID Feed the Future Innovation Labs for funding DANRE/KSU Project at Makerere University. He applauded Kansas State University for accepting to partner with Makerere University Department of Agribusiness and Natural Resource Economics (DANRE).
The Dean, School of Agricultural Sciences Prof. John Mugisha welcomed the Directors at Makerere University; specifically to Department of Agribusiness and Natural Resource Economics (DANRE). He thanked the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), for supporting Makerere University to enhance its teaching and research capacity. “We have so many research projects that are funded by USAID. We are really grateful for your support. Makerere University treasures partnerships and collaborations. This is because the more we partner the stronger we become,” he stated.
From the Department of Agribusiness and Natural Resource Economics (DANRE), the delegation visited the Incubation Centre at the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-Engineering. They also visited Makerere University Agricultural Research institute, Kabanyolo (MUARIK).
Article by Nabatte Proscovia, Mak Public Relations Office
UNMA Advisory on Agriculture and Food Security Jun-Aug 2021
The Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) on 7th June 2021 released the seasonal rainfall outlook for the June-July-August (JJA) 2021 period. Contained in the outlook were advisories to various strategic sectors of the economy.
Particularly, the advisory to the Agriculture and Food Security sector was;
- JJA season is often part of the normal dry season in the areas of South-western, western, parts of the eastern, and central Uganda. The farming communities in these areas are therefore advised to be vigilant during post-harvest handling by considering proper drying of the harvest on clean surfaces, use of tarpaulins and drying on racks;
- Preparation of good storage facilities of produce to avoid compromising on quality and safety;
- Channeling of the run-off water into the gardens in order to maximize on the soil moisture conservation;
- For those areas where near normal to above normal rainfall is expected (most parts of northern and eastern Uganda), farmers are encouraged to continue with regular weeding, pest and disease surveillance and control;
- Due to the expected enhanced rainfall in those areas, water logging and proliferation of fungal and bacterial crop diseases are likely to occur.
- Open drainage channels around household and gardens to reduce risks from stagnant water causing damage to root tuber crops;
- Flash floods and waterlogging are highly anticipated to occur in low lying areas expected to receive enhanced rainfall such as Katakwi and Kapelebyong. Therefore, communities are encouraged to keep watch over their crops, animals and property;
- In Karamoja sub-region, where wetter conditions are expected, the pastoral communities are advised to diversify into boosting the production of cereals (sorghum, millet, and maize), beans, and ground nuts and sustain pasture availability for livestock.
Please see Downloads for the detailed outlook.
4th Call For Applications: MURBS Departmental Ambassadors
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.
- Must be employed by the University on permanent terms
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Chair Council Communication on Closure of Makerere University
7th June 2021
All Members of Staff
All Students and Stakeholders
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.
Lorna Magara (Mrs.)
Chairperson, Makerere University Council
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