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Makerere University-Uganda Industrial Research Institute Partnership: A Good Deal for Ugandan Potato Growing Communities

Prof. Johnny Mugisha (3rd R) with the rest of the CARP+ team during a visit to the UIRI Incubation Plant in Kabale, Uganda. Image:RUFORUM

In Uganda, value addition that is very critical in upgrading the entire potato value chain remains limited. Benefits of value addition include the preservation of surpluses from one season to another, easy handling of products during storage and transportation, reduction of transportation costs and production of convenience foods in response to changing lifestyles, and availing products with improved nutritional content. Value addition also builds bridges between agriculture and industry sectors, and creates jobs mainly for the youth who usually shun the traditional farming activities.However, one of the major factors that plunders value addition in the Ugandan potato value chain may not be more of lack of the required potato varieties, but rather knowing very little on the processing properties (physical and chemical characteristics) of the varieties grown in the country.

This is the main reason Makerere University has struck a partnership deal with Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) in a Community Action Research Programme (CARP+).  By its design, the project targets strengthening synergies and working relationships of the University (students and researchers) and the farming community to enhance the capacity of potato value chain actors.

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