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NARO-Mak18 Ends by Tabling 15-point Conference Communique

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The 2nd NARO-Mak Joint Scientific Conference successfully ends with 15 point Conference Communique tabled before the Agricultural Minister for policy guidelines.

The 2nd Joint NARO-Mak Joint Scientific conference & 1st Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition Annual Scientific Symposium successfully ended on Thursday, 15th November 2018 at the Speke Resort Munyonyo.

The four day conference that started on 12th November 2018 under the theme “Research for Innovative Agri-Food Systems and Nutrition” was closed by the Minister of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries represented the state Minister for Agriculture Hon. Christopher Kibazanga.

Earlier, the conference Organising committee represented by Dr. Alice Turinawe from Makerere University’s Department of Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics tabled a summary  of the conference proceedings culminating in a 15 point Communique for policy guidelines. They include:

  • Integration of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in agricultural value chains for detection and management of pests and disease and assessment and manipulation of soil characteristics for appropriate crop management e.g. use of drones.
  • Policy and strategies for enhancing intake of quality and safe food, with emphasis on formulation and/or implementation of appropriate standards and regulations.
  • Supportive policy frameworks for comprehensive nutrition education of both the grassroots urban and rural consumers of agriculture-based and other foods and food products backed by market power.
  • Prioritise investments that improve quality of people through nutrition and healthy diets
  • Strengthen implementation of strategies for reducing post harvest losses and waste along the value chain
  • Need for embracing the spirit of multi-sectoral planning and implementation of government development programs along the value chain.
  • Provision of adequate and reliable funding to research for timely delivery of technological solutions for the continuously growing and dynamic society needs. Similarly, sustainable funding is required for science communication and user education so that results effectively get to the intended beneficiaries. There is need for a paradigm shift in methods of delivering information to farmers and related value chain actors.
  • Develop and enact programs for mind frame change for transformation of the youth to actively engage in agri-entrepreneurship.
  • Enabling policy and strategies for transiting agricultural research to industrial products via incubation and industrial parks.
  • Policy measures to encourage the agro-based private sector to support government in funding agricultural research to ensure the sustainability of research funding.
  • The need to reconstruct a national extension system that is organic, holistic, equitable and transformative.
  • Need for a model of agriculture that is sensitive to economics, food security, ecology and society issues. Not a one size fit all i.e. large scale farming may not be appropriate for everybody.
  • Need to identify and pick good practices from both the traditional and modern concepts of agriculture and develop a model suitable for African situation. Otherwise the binary concept of traditional vs. modern is misleading.
  • The need for leadership/governance in every relevant sector to keep an eye on the evolution of gender and extension concepts and provide for adjustments as society needs change.
  • Strengthen existing institutions to effectively protect the agricultural sector against counterfeits including inputs especially seeds.

Dr. Alice Turinawe from the Department of Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics tables a summary of the conference proceedings

In his remarks as State Minister, Hon. Kibazanga described as challenging, the evidence-based results indicating the levels stunted, underweight or obese children, as well as statistics of the population going hungry, despite the fact that Uganda is gifted by nature.

“I attended the side event and they told us that the level of stunted children is at 33%, Underweight children are at 14%, while obesity is at 28% and all this with 3billion people going hungry worldwide! As the Ministry of Agriculture, we are guilty”. The minister exclaimed.

The minister commended NARO, Makerere and collaborating institutions for not only organizing the conference but also discussing food and nutrition as an important aspect that directly and indirectly impacts on the development of the economy.

“I wish to commend NARO and Makerere University with their partners and the organizing committee for the job well done. Agriculture is one of the most diverse sectors in this country and as Minister, I have a great appreciation of the logistics and human resources required to pull off a conference of this magnitude. This is another step in the right direction for Agriculture in Uganda and I therefore congratulate all the stakeholders for the job well done”, the Minister said.

Hon. Christopher Kibazanga makes the closing remarks at the 2nd NARO-Mak Conference

Hon. Kibazanga said Agriculture is one of the opportunities identified by our Uganda Vision 2040 that needs to be strengthened in order to achieve faster socio-economic transformation.

In this regard, he said, Government set out to: invest in the development of all major irrigation schemes in the country; ensure continued investment in technology improvement through research for improved seeds, breeds and stocking materials; and invest in the development of the phosphates industry in Tororo so as to reduce the cost of fertilizers.

“Government has additionally set out to: reform the extension system in the country to increase information access, knowledge and technologies to the farmers; ensure that land fragmentation is reversed to secure land for mechanization; collect adequate agricultural statistics; improve weather information and its dissemination and intensify environmental control measures to halt the decline in soil fertility,” He said.

The minister pointed out 16 irrigation projects the Government has under construction in different parts of the country to fulfil its promises to the people. These included: Doho phase II in Butalejja district; Mubuku phase II in Kasese district; Wadelai in Nebbi district; Tochi and  Ngenge in Oyam district; Atari in Bulambuli and Kween districts and Katete in Kanungu district among others.

He expressed happiness that throughout the course of this joint scientific conference, researchers and participants were engaged in dissemination and discussion of findings that are in line with Government’s interventions to improve agricultural productivity across the value chain.

The Principal College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB)-Prof. John David Kabasa represented the Vice Chancellor at the closing ceremony

The Vice Chancellor Makerere University represented by Prof. John David Kabasa thanked researchers, students, agriculturalist, veterinarians and other stakeholders in the agricultural sector from Uganda and the Diaspora for coming together to exchange research findings and information on various aspects of agriculture production and productivity in a changing environment.

Prof. Nawangwe reaffirmed Makerere University’s and the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO)’s commitment to contribute to national development through advancement of agricultural research.

“As Makerere University, we are constantly challenged that it is not good enough to conduct cutting edge research but also equally important to find the most appropriate and beneficial ways to disseminate the findings thereof. This conference is the second effort to do just that in partnership with NARO”.  

Prof. Nawangwe expressed hope that the participants have had an opportunity to strengthen partnerships and collaborative networks with other key stakeholders so as to continue research and find lasting solutions to the challenges in the agricultural sector and its interfacing areas.

“I do therefore, expect that the outputs of this conference will cumulatively and going forward in a supportive environment enhance livelihoods as set out in the conference theme.

Chairman Board of Directors, NARO-Prof. Joseph Obua appreciated the partnerships between Makerere University and his Organisation

“In addition, the partners who participated in the parallel exhibition to sensitize the consumers about products that are presently being applied by primary producers in agriculture are expected in the future to outlet more of the products to a more informed clientele.

“I am sure participants have interested and fostered relationships with industrial partners that will last and contribute to the development of a vibrant agricultural sector.

“Let me also take this opportunity to commend the chairpersons, rapporteurs and the presenters of all sessions that covered the various subthemes. You did a wonderful job and the conference was indeed a success.

"I note the cross cutting contribution of the knowledge exchanged under each subtheme and I challenge NARO, Makerere, Tufts University and other research and educational institutions to increasingly undertake research and innovation initiatives in these sub-themes in line with their mandates”, Prof Nawangwe commended.

The Vice Chancellor also thanked the Principal College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) Prof. Bernard Bashaasha, the Deputy Director NARO Dr. Imelda Kashaija and other partners for organising this conference.

Agricultural Phytosanitary Inspector MAAIF and MSc. Student-Ms. Doreen Rukuba (Right) makes her poster presentation

Equally, Prof. Nawangwe extended his appreciation to USAID Feed the Future Innovation Lab, TUFTS University, Global Panel for Agriculture and Food System for Nutrition and NARO and other partners for supporting this conference and exhibition.

The Chairman Board of Directors, NARO, Prof. Joseph Obua appreciated the partnerships between Makerere University and his Research Organisation and the efforts to bring on board the international partners, expressing hope that more will be attracted in the 2020 conference, including the Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation.

Reflecting on the Minister opening remarks on day one and his emphasis for researchers to help the country realize its target of exporting 20million bags of coffee by 2025, Prof. Obua  advised government to think of exporting value added coffee rather that coffee beans, so as to create more jobs, income for farmers and earn more foreign exchange.

He also asked government to support the development of an Intellectual Property policy to protect technologies.

Prof. Obua identified other areas that require attention such as the weak research-farmers linkage curtailing uptake of research products, and the weak research-industry linkage.

Report compiled by;
Jane Anyango;
Principal Communication Officer CAES

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Engineering, Art & Tech

A Successful Ph.D. Defense by Vianney Andrew Yiga

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The CEDAT community is proud to share our congratulations to Vianney Andrew Yiga following his successful Ph.D. defense that happened yesterday Monday 3rd October 2022 at the College of Engineering, Design, Art, and Technology (CEDAT).

His Thesis was titled; Thermal Stability of Fiber- Reinforced Polylactic Acid Composites for Flameretarded Applications.

The candidate was supervised by Eng. Dr. Michael Lubwama and Eng. Dr. Peter W. Olupot both from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, at CEDAT.

Dr. John Wasswa, Department of Chemistry, College of Natural Sciences (CONAS), Makerere University was the opponent that interrogated the candidate to enable a clear understanding of the study.

Click here for more details

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Makerere University Launches National Parenting Draft Manual

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The Director of Culture at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo (Centre) and Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC (Right) interact with a participant at the workshop on 22nd July 2022, Kampala.

By Agnes Namaganda

On July 22nd 2022, Makerere UniversityChild Health and Development Centre (MakCHDC) launched a draft manual for the National Parenting Standards. The Centre has been working together with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) with funding from UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund), to develop standards that are agreeable to all organisations in the country that are involved in parenting work. The draft manual was being presented to members of a consortium that brings together all these organisations together, called the Parenting Agenda Consortium.

“We produce many documents and they are shelved,” Irene Ayot Chono, who was speaking on behalf of UNICEF said. “We hope that this document will not be one of them,” she emphasized.

Irene Ayot Chono-UNICEF, urging participants to utilize the manual once it is complete.
Irene Ayot Chono-UNICEF, urging participants to utilize the manual once it is complete.

Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC who presented the draft manual to participants, emphasized that if any organization is doing parenting work, there should be a minimum package that they should offer.

Draft Manual Content

The manual which will have several modules. These modules will be delivered face-to-face in 1.5 hour sessions. Some of these include; Module 6 which will focus on “understanding responsible masculinity and fatherhood” and on “understanding the concept of head of family.”The draft manual also proposed that Module 11 focuses on Parenting in the 21st Century. Some of the sessions in this module will include Children and Technology, Contemporary Influence on Children and Modernity, Culture and Morality.Module 9 will focus on Parenting for Adolescents and some of the suggested sessions within this module are Needs for Adolescents and The Art of Communicating with Adolescents. Module 5 will focus on Preventing Violent Parenting and Promoting Alternative Discipline Strategies while Module 10 will be about Parenting to Address the Mental Health for Children and Adults.

Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC presenting the contents of the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual.
Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC presenting the contents of the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual.

Participants’ suggestions

After the presentation, participants raised several suggestions for discussion and consideration. These included whether there should be a module on spirituality since Uganda is a strongly religious nation. There was also the concern of how children in remand homes should be parented. Another concern raised by a participant was as to whether teachers who make an undeniable contribution to parenting, should be taken through the parenting manual.

A participant gives her input at the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual launch.
A participant gives her input at the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual launch.

In her closing remarks, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo, the Director of Cultural Affairs at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) said that the manual is for the parenting organisations to utilize and not for MGLSD.

The Director of Culture at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo making closing remarks at the workshop.
The Director of Culture at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo making closing remarks at the workshop.

Ms. Chono also adjured the team behind the manual to use picture illustrations in the manual that can be relatable by the Ugandan parents.

Contact: Agnes Namaganda – agnesvioletnamaganda@gmail.com

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Launch of Mak-RIF Round 4 Awards & PhD Call for Proposals

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Mak-RIF 4 Awards and PhD Call For Proposals, 29th September 2022, 9:00 to 10:00 AM EAT.

Makerere University received funding from the Government of the Republic of Uganda, earmarked to support high impact Research and Innovations. This unique initiative arose after engagements between the top University Management and the Government of Uganda. This fund illustrates the increasing importance that the Government attaches to Research and Innovation as a driver of development and transformation. The objective of the fund is to increase the local generation of translatable research and scalable innovations that address key gaps required to drive Uganda’s development agenda. 

In the Financial years 2019/2020, 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 the Government of the Republic of Uganda through Mak-RIF has funded implementation of over 750 multidisciplinary research and innovations within the various Colleges, while engaging multiple stakeholders within and outside Makerere University. The Grants Management Committee (GMC) has finalized the award process for the Mak-RIF round 4 call for funding for this Financial Year 2022/2023.

The Grants Management Committee (GMC) hereby invites you to the Launch of the Mak-RIF Round 4 awards and PhD Call for Proposals scheduled to take place tomorrow Thursday 29th September 2022 from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. EAT. 

Please use the following details to join the launch.

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwpcu-urDIjE9ZgxdsbEmA2IkNMMiJVECt_ 
Meeting ID: 884 5662 9992
Password: 292624

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