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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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WHS Regional Meeting Africa 2021: Finance Chairperson’s Update

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Prof. Tonny J. Oyana, Finance Chairperson, World Health Summit Regional Meeting Africa, June 2021.

SOPs: Our plan is to have 200 sets of people in different spacious rooms…

Prof. Tonny j. oyana, finance chairperson whs regional meeting africa

We are sincerely grateful to our sponsors…

Over 15 core sponsors…

Sessions: 60% Virtual, 40% Onsite…

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HERS-EA Fourth Leadership Academy

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Facilitators and Participants of the HERS-EA Third Academy pose for a group photo at the closing ceremony on 5th July 2019, Grand Global Hotel, Kampala Uganda.

The Higher Education Resource Services-East Africa (HERS-EA) provides an intensive residential one-week leadership and management development curriculum focused on women, mainly in higher education institutions and administration.

In response to the current Covid-19 pandemic, HERS-EA Fourth Academy will be a totally virtual one. As such, the Academy previously scheduled to take place between June 28th – July 3rd has been postponed by one week to July 5th-9th

Theme: “Positioning Women for Leadership in Higher Education”

A. Institutional Development

1. Managing and Leading Change

2. Reframing Organizations for effective work

3. Developing Effective Partnerships in Higher Education for Women and gender focused advancement

B. Personal Development

4. Career Mapping/building dossier/personal development

5. Professional Women’s economic empowerment through Enterprise development and management for profit maximization

6. Research and Publishing; Leadership and Fundraising for projects including research and publication.

C. Networking

7. The Power of Mentoring; Networking

Who Should Attend?

HERS-EA expects many diverse and dynamic women leaders to attend the ACADEMY, to share and learn from multiple institutional perspectives with guidance from women with a wealth of experience in higher education, national academic organizations, government and non- governmental organizations. Participants are expected hold mid to senior-level positions and bring expertise from all parts of a college or university. They also represent a range of national groups, ages and years of experience in higher education and other fields.

Applying to the ACADEMY:

The deadline for registration has also been extended to June 30th. For more information regarding registration, please visit the website: www.hersea.org Completed registration forms should be emailed, with a scanned payment slip to: info@hersea.org, by 5.00 p.m. on Wednesday 30th June.

A complete application includes:
a) CV
b) A self-descriptive letter (not > 500 words) to include:

  • Current Title (e.g. Associate Professor of Economics; Deputy Dean, e. t. c.)
  • Name and Contact Information for 2 Recommenders (e.g. Vice Chancellor, Head of Department, Chief Officer in your area, and/or direct supervisor)
  • Short- and long-term career goals
  • Your expectations for the HERS-EA ACADEMY.

c) Passport size photograph
d) A developmental project you have been assigned or you would like to initiate at your campus (maximum 500 words)
e) Registration fee of $100, please attach a copy of the deposit slip to your application (Bank A/C details below):

Contact Information

If you have any further questions, please email:
info[at]hersea.org or call the HERS-EA Administrator on: +256 (0)772082011 Please,also, visit the HERS-EA website for further updates: www.hersea.org.

Payment Bank Account Details:
Account Name: Higher Education Resource Service East Africa

HERS-EA US $ ACCOUNT
Name of Bank: DFCU Bank
Makerere University Branch
A/C No: 02083553153181
Swift Code: DFCUUGKA

HERS-EA UGX ACCOUNT
Name of Bank: DFCU Bank
Makerere University Branch
A/C No: 01083553153172

 

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Mak Commissions CoVAB@50 Celebrations, Awards Certificates

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The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (4th L), DVCAA-Dr. Umar Kakumba (5th L) and Principal CoVAB-Prof. J.D. Kabasa (3rd L) with L-R: Mr. Byakatonda Patrick, Mr. Alfred Masikye Namoah, Mr. Felix Okello, the Mace bearer and Dr. Samuel Majalija at the CoVAB@50 Celebrations Commissioning, 17th June 2021, Nakyesasa-Namulonge.

The College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB) on Thursday 17th June, 2021 commenced celebrations to mark 50 Years of Veterinary Higher Education, Science, Technology, Innovation and Services (HESTIS) in Uganda. The blended event held at the Industrial Livestock Research, Incubation and Skilling (ILRIS) Center at Nakyesasa, Namulonge as well as online was presided over by the Chancellor, Prof. Ezra Suruma and First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports (MoES), Hon. Janet Museveni both represented by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe.

The event, held as part of Makerere University Centenary Celebrations (1922-2022) was a moment of celebration for 1,930 skilled livestock agribusiness entrepreneurs who were awarded certificates in recognition of completion of their respective courses. Owing to the strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) instituted by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to curb the spread of COVID-19, the students from Incubation Hubs in Atiak, Butaleja, Mubende, Nakyesasa, Sheema and Wakiso were awarded their certificates virtually.

In her remarks read by Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Hon. Janet Museveni thanked Makerere University for supporting grassroots level development through groundbreaking innovations under the Africa Institute for Strategic Services and Development-Skills for Production Enterprise Development and Accreditation (AFRISA-SPEDA) model.

The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (L), Academic Registrar-Mr. Alfred Masikye Namoah (C) and the Principal CoVAB-Prof. John David Kabasa stand for the anthems.
The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (L), Academic Registrar-Mr. Alfred Masikye Namoah (C) and the Principal CoVAB-Prof. John David Kabasa stand for the anthems.

“I am extremely pleased that Makerere University, through those innovative approaches, has developed and launched the alternative approach to building human capital and transferring knowledge to enterprises in communities.

“I would like to encourage all those involved in skills development to adopt methodologies that transform those trainees that go through these programs in ways that enable them also transform the societies they live in” read the Minister’s remarks.

She further noted that commissioning of the CoVAB@50 celebrations was both timely and rewarding. “The commissioning of the college innovations indeed has made meaning. This is a true path to growth of an Academic and Development College of the University, and we congratulate you again.”

Addressing the congregation as Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe congratulated CoVAB alumna and incoming Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MoSTI) under the Office of the President, Dr. Monica Musenero upon her recent appointment. “We thank His Excellency the President for identifying you. Science is in good hands.”

Awardees from the Mubende Incubation Hub raise their caps after virtually receiving their certificates in the blended ceremony on 17th June 2021. Photo credit: Kabaruli Twekambe/Team BOBOMAK
Awardees from the Mubende Incubation Hub raise their caps after virtually receiving their certificates in the blended ceremony on 17th June 2021. Photo credit: Kabaruli Twekambe/Team BOBOMAK

Prof. Nawangwe urged Dr. Musenero to address the structures of managing research and innovation in Uganda, “including the role of the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology and the apparent need to establish a Research Council for Uganda.”

In the same breath he thanked the outgoing and pioneer Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Hon. Dr. Elioda Tumuwesigye, for his role in ensuring that the ministry is empowered to carry out its mandate.

The Chancellor congratulated CoVAB upon training the bulk of Veterinary Doctors in Uganda over the last 50 years and more recently, Laboratory Technologists at the highest level. He recognised Makerere University‘s obligation to contribute to the economic self-determination of Uganda and thanked CoVAB for conducting research that addresses hindrances to national development, especially in the livestock industry.

“The anti-tick vaccine is one of such innovations which will solve the huge problem of tick-borne diseases that have caused enormous losses to our farmers. There are many other problems on which the college is researching and we thank you for the enthusiasm” he added.

Incoming Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation in the Office of the President, Dr. Monica Musenero addresses the congregation.
Incoming Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation in the Office of the President, Dr. Monica Musenero addresses the congregation.

The Chancellor commended CoVAB for being the vanguard of transformation of the grassroots communities through the SPEDA model. “I urge Government to fund this important initiative so that it can more meaningfully contribute to solving the big problem of youth unemployment.”

In her remarks, Dr. Monica Musenero commended the Principal, CoVAB, Prof. John David Kabasa for fulfilling the College’s dream of enabling the masses who drop out of the education value chain as well as those who complete education but have no skills for livelihood, to attain certification in agribusiness entrepreneurship.

“Many people attain academic success and write papers, publish and they become professors but without demonstrable impact on their nation. You have shown by the thousands that you have touched nationwide that indeed you are a professor of national transformation. Congratulations,” remarked Dr. Musenero.

She therefore congratulated the teams at CoVAB and AFRISA upon successfully conceiving and executing a model that is non-traditional, informal, not easily understood and not documented in any textbooks.

The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (R) receives graduation books of the cohorts from Director DIT, MoES-Mr. Byakatonda Patrick (C) and Deputy Commissioner Social Services Development, MoES-Madam Elizabeth Bateme (L).
The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (R) receives graduation books of the cohorts from Director DIT, MoES-Mr. Byakatonda Patrick (C) and Deputy Commissioner Social Services Development, MoES-Madam Elizabeth Bateme (L).

As Minister, Dr. Musenero noted that witnessing thousands of individuals from across the country whose skills had been honed through a university programme receiving certificates gave her a lot of hope and material to embark on her tenure with. “I will be looking forward to harnessing these resources as we initiate work on the next leg of Science, Technology and Innovation in the country under the President’s Office.”

The invitation to the Principal, CoVAB to present students for the award of the ordinary diplomas, ordinary certificates and artisan certificates was given by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Dr. Umar Kakumba. He congratulated the awardees upon successfully completing their respective courses and graduating with evidence on an enterprise.

Prof. Kabasa clarified that the approach used to train the day’s awardees was not simply a vocational skilling. “The combination of action research with knowledge transfer, skilling, plus assessment and accreditation processes done by organs like the DIT (Directorate of Industrial Training, MoES) has given us this result, for the University to provide true leadership and transformation of the community.”

Present at the celebrations were the Director, DIT, MoES-Mr. Byakatonda Patrick and the Deputy Commissioner Social Services Development, MoES Madam Elizabeth Bateme who have worked through the Academic-Community-Public-Private-Partnership model to ensure that students graduate as entrepreneurs with micro enterprises.

The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (C), flanked by DVCAA-Dr. Umar Kakumba (R) and the Principal CoVAB-Prof. John David Kabasa (L) commissions the SPEDA Training, Incubation and Research Centre-Nakyesasa on behalf of the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports-Hon. Janet Museveni on 17th June 2021.
The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (C), flanked by DVCAA-Dr. Umar Kakumba (R) and the Principal CoVAB-Prof. John David Kabasa (L) commissions the SPEDA Training, Incubation and Research Centre-Nakyesasa on behalf of the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports-Hon. Janet Museveni on 17th June 2021.

Prior to presiding over the ceremony, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, on behalf of the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports officially commissioned the SPEDA Training, Incubation and Research Centre – Nakyesasa.

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