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Mak, AATF, PASTTA Project Evaluate 35 Soybean Varieties from across Africa

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The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Makerere University in partnership with the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) and the Soybean Innovation Lab through the Partnerships for Seed Technology Transfer in Africa (PASTTA) project on 3rd and 5th January 2019 conducted soybean field days at Mubuku Irrigation Scheme in Kasese and Ngetta ZARDI in Lira respectively. A total of 35 soybean varieties from across Africa were being evaluated; dubbed Pan African Soybean trial. The evaluation trials were aimed at identification and release of new improved varieties.

PASTTA is a global development Alliance between USAID Feed the Future, Sygenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, AATF and New Markets Lab.

The objectives of the field days were to expose stakeholders in soybean value chain to the performance of the 35 soybean varieties under evaluation, carry out participatory evaluation of the new soybean varieties in the research pipe line and to facilitate networking between the different stakeholders in the soybean value chain.

The 35 varieties were a collection from six African countries of Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, South Africa and Uganda. The trials included all the six Maksoy varieties; Maksoy 1N, 2N, 3N, 4N, 5N and 6N. The function attracted soybean farmers, processors, seed companies, local seed businesses, non-governmental organizations, researchers from government and private institutions and Local government district officials.

The relatively short and early maturing variety from South Africa in Plot 10 of a field in Mubuku, Kasese under the Pan African Soybean trial by Makerere University AATF and the PASTTA Project

Makerere University Plant breeder and soybean researcher, Prof. Phinehas Tukamuhabwa thanked the Kasese Local government officials, farmers and the management of Mubuku Irrigation scheme for the hospitality and partnership with the University since 2002.

Prof. Tukamuhabwa expressed gratitude to the Government of Uganda and development partners for financing the research.

“As researchers we have little money and we depend on donors. We have received money from Vegetable Oil Development Project and government agencies like Makerere University and NARO and that is why we are here for this field day. I am also grateful for the seed companies and the private sector represented here. As researchers we cannot do much without your support and we want to keep up”, Prof. Tukamuhabwa stated.

The Professor said the day’s activities were to talk about soybean and how to serve the country better and to help farmers.

“The reason is to look at different varieties using participatory method and we are doing it for the farmers, processors and seed companies.

In addition to testing varieties from Uganda, we are working with AATF to see if there are better varieties from Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and South Africa that we can take advantage of”, Tukamuhabwa reported.

Farmers from Kasese participate in identifying and selecting varieties in Mubuku

Prof. Tukamuhabwa noted that despite the fact that Kasese district is one of the greatest farming districts nearing large-scale production in maize, they have not yet learnt good agricultural practices like crop rotation.

“It is common knowledge that it is not a good practice to plant maize after maize because eventually you are making soils poor.

If you want to make money in agriculture by farming cereals like maize and rice, use crop rotation. It discourages development of pests and diseases and improves soil properties.
When you harvest soybean or beans plant maize. When you harvest maize, grow soybean or beans and after soybean grow rice”, the don advised.

The Project Officer PASTTA Project Mr. Arnold Mbowa said over the years, AATF has contributed to the generation and adoption of new varieties for Uganda and the regional markets for different crops. These varieties have over time been utilized by farmers and other stakeholders for the betterment of the livelihoods.

Mr. Mbowa said several milestones have been reached within Uganda in partnership with different research organizations like Makerere University and the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO).

“Farmers are very important in any breeding program. We have been raising materials here for the past three months and we would like to get your input on these materials. In addition to farmers, we have processors, seed companies and researchers so that we come up with a common stand.  We hope to get a lot of feedback and learn a lot from you farmers,” Mbowa said.

It was all handson as male and female farmers participated in the identification exercise

The Associate Plant breeder from Makerere University Mr. Tonny Obua explained that the Pan African soybean trial with a total of 35 different varieties collected across Africa were being tried in three locations in Mubuku-Kasese,  Nakabango – Jinja and Ngetta in Lira. Mr. Obua explained that these three locations were picked for critical reasons. “At Mubuku, we have flood irrigation. So, we want to see the performance of these varieties under flood irrigation because we are now moving with the challenges of climate change. We are beginning to see that irrigation is one way of tackling climate change and farmers will need to adopt this technology.

We picked Ngetta because Lira it is the hub of soybean production in Northern Uganda. So most of the farmers and processors are found in Lira.

And, in most of our evaluation trials, we have seen that Nakabango has been giving us very good yields. So, we also want to plant these varieties in the best location to ascertain which variety performs under optimum condition that is why we picked those three environments for the Pan African trial.” Obua said.

The idea according to Mr. Obua, was to see the adaptability, how these varieties perform in terms of pests and diseases, maturity periods, yields and resistance to droughts.

“So far most of these varieties have reached harvesting stage and we want to go beyond harvesting to see more traits of our interest. We have already collected data on resistance to pests and diseases, pod shuttering and nodulation and the next task is to add in the yield data and eventually determine the best variety out of the 35.” Obua explained.

Associate Plant breeder from Makerere University Mr. Tonny Obua mentioned that Mubuku was chosen to test performance of African varieties under flood irrigation

Primarily he said, most of the varieties from Southern Africa are relatively short and early maturing and the varieties from Uganda are relatively tall, slightly late in terms of maturity but preliminarily showing very good performance in terms of yield but more evaluation is to be done to ascertain the performance of the yields.

Obua further explained that the purpose of the field days was to bridge the gap between farmers and processors so that farmers understand the expectations from processors and the traits processors are interested in.

The farmers through the field day would also understand the different varieties of soybean available, look at them and feel them physically, know their attributes and differentiate them, help them learn the agronomy of how to plant soybean and bridge the gap between researchers, farmers, markets and extension services.

The Production Officer of Kasese District Mr. Julius Baluku thanked Makerere University and her partners for choosing Kasese as a trial site describing this as a rare opportunity that will benefit farmers.

He said the district has had a number of trials but most of the projects never share the progress.

Mr. Tonny Obua (Right) joins farmers in identifying soybean varieties

“As a district, the benefit from this trial is twofold; As service delivery people, our target is to increase production and productivity to address food security and improve farmer’s income and we can’t do without you.

The district has a big potential for soybean production but it has not been fully utilized because we don’t know about varieties and good agricultural practices.

The other benefit is the researcher-extension-farmer linkage and we thank the researchers for the trials and advice given on agricultural practices and I am confident that by the end of the day we shall have learnt a lot”, Mr. Baluku said.

Also present during the field day was RECO; a soybean processor based in Kasese and Kampala. RECO assured farmers of the ready market for quality soybean grain; with a demand of 120,000 tons in 2019 for food processing sector. The biggest challenge raised however, was the poor quality of the soybean, moulded and affected by aflatoxins and salmonella including extraneous materials like poultry droppings, stones, other beans due to poor handling and storage.

Farmers were advised to properly dry the soybeans, ensure that the soybean is free from aflatoxins and other residues as they will be subjected to testing before buying.

Report compiled by;
Jane Anyango,
Principal Communication Officer, CAES

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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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Notice: Makerere Disability Scheme 2022/23 Medical Review Exercise

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One of the PWD graduands at the 69th Graduation during the Session held on 17th January 2019.

The Academic Registrar, Makerere University invites persons with disability who applied for admission to public universities under the disability entry scheme for 2022/2023 Academic Year to appear for medical/review exercise at Makerere Unive, Senate Building, Level Two (2) in the Telepresence Centre.

NOTE: Only those who have the minimum entry requirements of at least two principal passes at A’ Level or its equivalent and at least five (5) passes at O’ Level or its equivalent will be interviewed.

 Only candidates who sat ‘a’ level in 2020, 2019 and 2018 are eligible for admission.

THE EXERCISE WILL BE CONDUCTED ON 3rd, 4th and 5th October, 2022 respectively from 9.00 A.M – 1.00 P.M each day.

IMPORTANT:

(i) If you fail to appear on any of the given days above, there will be no other chance for you.

(ii) Applicants with Government Scholarship for the previous years are not eligible for admission

ALFRED MASIKYE NAMOAH

Acting. ACADEMIC REGISTRAR

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