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Annual Advisory Board Meeting Commends MaRCCI Progress and Initiatives



A committee of the Advisory Board constituted of nine eminent scientists and business people from various institutions in and outside Africa and the US including some of eminent Private sector companies from 11th to 15th March 2019 converged at Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala Uganda to assess the annual progress recorded by the Makerere University Regional Centre for Crop Improvement (MaRCCI).

The committee which is appointed by the Vice Chancellor for a two-year term routinely sits to follow up progress with centre activities.

This year, the major advisory Board activities included; Curriculum planning/review, Informatory session and presentations on MaRCCI progress, Private sessions, Meeting with the University Management, a visit to the MaRCCI home and touring the facilities at the Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo (MUARIK).

The Chair MaRCCI Advisory Board, Dr. Yona Baguma (Right) and Principal CAES, Prof. Bernard Bashaasha (Left) share a light moment on the sidelines of the Annual Advisory Board Meeting, 13th March 2019, Speke Resort Munyonyo, Kampala Uganda

The Centre Director Dr. Richard Edema said, in the four days, they were presenting what the centre was able to do to in one year, challenges faced and some of the issues where they needed to adjust. This was to help the Advisory Board better understand how the centre was doing and give appropriate advice.

“They have listened to our presentations in terms of what we do in training, research, staffing, financials, our level of integration and institutionalization and internal issues.
They also had an opportunity to interface with the Vice Chancellor (VC). They are happy with the progress and willing to keep going and to be associated with MaRCCI.

The Board also presented its report on MaRCCI to the VC, detailing the accomplishments strengths and some of the areas for improvement.” Explained the Centre Director, adding that:

MaRRCI Director, Dr. Edema Richard presents the progress and initiatives to the Board

“We are lucky to have a Board like this because we are running such a big platform which is basically selling and promoting Makerere’s visibility, adding to its core functions and vision of being research-led by increasing graduate training”.

Dr. Edema reported that there has been an increase in the number of graduate students that have gone through the Centre to date.

“We have about 171MSc and 71PhDs who have gone and are going through the precursor of MaRCCI with a big number being foreign students.

Members of the MaRCCI Advisory Board interact with students in one of the lecture rooms on 15th March 2019 at MUARIK, Makerere University

We have developed a coherent breeding program on cowpea and sorghum. It used to be on soybean. They have come to see the products we are making from cowpea and sorghum and they are doing it for free.

So, I can see that, with this Advisory Board, MaRCCI can go very far because they are even selling us abroad, getting us new partners and advising us on how to better organize ourselves.” Dr. Edema added.

The Board members also visited the MaRCCI home at MUARIK and toured the training and research facilities.

Dr. Edema Richard (Right) and Advisory Board Members tour the Biotechnology Lab on 15th March 2019 at MUARIK, Makerere University

The Director disclosed that the centre was about to the upgrade the internet connectivity and purchase another server to improve on research data storage given the rising graduate enrolment and research data generated.

“With this kind of work, we gather a lot of information used to develop new varieties. These days gathering information as well as characterizing a plant and describing genes has been digitalized. With the increasing student intake there is a wealth of information and, that is why the committee members have advised us to get a bigger server for storage. ” Edema said.
While touring the university farm, Dr. Edema said the centre will soon hold a ground breaking ceremony for construction of the MaRCCI home. The University allocated two acres of land at MUARIK for this cause.

“We are in the final stages of procurement and the contracts committee is beginning evaluation of the companies. There will be a ceremony and we shall invite the VC and Management to witness another milestone for MaRCCI and this will greatly contribute to the growth of the University.” Edema noted.

Advisory Board Members sample some of the products made from sorghum and cowpeas during their tour of MaRCCI facilities at MUARIK, Makerere University

Out of the total US$6Million allocation to MaRCCI, UGX2billion has been earmarked for the construction of this building. The key components of the building include staff offices, lecture rooms and complementary facilities like screen houses, seed store for experiments, storage and safety.

The Advisory Board members also visited the Post Graduate Training Facility constructed under the AfDB-HEST project where MaRCCI has furnished one of the seminar rooms for use.

“While the AfDB facilities are ready for use, we have been struggling with limited lecture facilities due to the ever increasing number of students on MaRCCI. The University Management allowed us to furnish and use them to train students.

One of the Seminar Rooms in the Graduate Training and Research Laboratory facility at MUARIK furnished by MaRCCI

Using our resources we bought 40 students’ chairs with flip able tables at UGX15,812,000. The reason we are doing this, is that MaRCCI is looking forward to  integrating  its programs with sister programs like joint taught programs, so the facility will be very useful starting next semester.” The centre Director reported.

The other centre milestone is the initiative to add value to the local crops (cowpea and sorghum) to have better market value. According to Dr. Edema, the Centre started an initiative to add value to every variety developed.

“We are working with CURAD (Consortium for enhancing University Responsiveness to Agribusiness Development Limited) to add value for easy storage and longer life span. For the first time, we are doing that for cowpea and some products are ready for marketing. The issue is Intellectual property.  If such products are marketed, there will be increased demand leading to more productivity and eventually improved livelihoods”. Dr. Edema noted.

Advisory Board members commended MaRCCI for steady progress.

Dr. Craig Yencho, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor NCSU commended MaRCCI on forming collaborations with leading research agencies such as NARO

“I have the great fortune to have been part of the team at the conception of the MaRCCI… I am so pleased to see MaRCCI’s growth over the last two years. I remember coming back to the original old dormitory and now I am pleased to see new buildings.

I had the opportunity to meet the Makerere Vice Chancellor,  Principal CAES and some Heads of Department and I got a sense that there is great excitement and potential that  MaRCCI is offering to Makerere University, to the connections with NACCRI ,NARO and all other  research institutions. As advisory member, it is a great honor and, I am excited to see what comes in the future and wish MaRCCI so well”, said  Dr. Craig Yencho, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor and Program Leader Sweet-potato and Potato Breeding and Genetics Programs – Department of Horticultural Sciences, North Carolina State University – USA.

“I am really impressed with the progress that MaRCCI has made and the way they have utilized the investment from the Uganda Government and others from partners. It is really exciting to see the growth and to see the training support to Africa and contributing to training the workforce that will contribute to agricultural production for Africa.

Prof. Rita Hogan Mumm, Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign commended the MaRCCI leadership for the dedication to training the next generation of plant breeders

I would like to commend the Centre Leadership because, they are extraordinary, dedicated, very talented, and very passionate about training the next generation of Plant breeders.  

And, by doing high quality scientific research, they are raising the visibility of Makerere as a university and increasing its stature at the global stage. The partners MaRCCI has entered into collaboration with are really elevated at a world level. I am particularly impressed with the partnership with NARO for being not only a resource for new genetic materials but also, a resource for students that will become a work force.

Coming to the farm, it has been exciting to see these great resources. Besides the laboratories , lecture rooms, and accommodation facilities, I see this beautiful soil with a significant number of acres and am very happy that MaRCCI and students have access to utilize it for research,” said Prof. Rita Hogan Mumm, Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

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

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Re-advertisement: Undergraduate Programmes 2024/2025



A section of the University Road

The Academic Registrar, Makerere University invites applications from Ugandan, East African, and international applicants for the undergraduate programmes under Government Sponsorship (BVL) and private sponsorship scheme for the 2024/2025 Academic Year.

Each applicant should:

a) Have the Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) with at least five passes, or its equivalent and at least two principal passes at Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) obtained at the same sitting. For day programmes only candidates who sat A’ Level in 2023,2022 and 2020 are eligible to apply. For evening, afternoon, and external programmes, a candidate is not restricted on the year of sitting A’ Level.


d) Degree from a recognised/Chartered Institution

Further details on the re-advertised programmes , fees structure, and the procedure of submitting applications can be accessed from the document below:                                            

The closing date for receiving applications for undergraduate admissions is Friday 26th July 2024.                                                           


  1. Applicants are strongly warned against presenting forged or other people’s academic documents to support their applications for admission.  The consequences, if discovered, are very grave indeed.
  2. Do not buy any other documents not originating from the Academic Registrar’s Office.  Those who buy them do so at their own risk. 
  3. The Academic Registrar has not appointed any agent to act on his behalf to solicit for additional funds other than the application fee stated above.    
  4. Applicants are advised to use the right programme names and codes. The university will not be responsible for any wrong information entered in the system by applicants.     

Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza

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Freshers’ Orientation and Registration For 2024/2025 Academic Year



To All First Year Students;
First Year students (Freshers) are by tradition given an “acclimatization” period of one week
which is referred to as the “Orientation Week”. The Freshers report on Campus one week
earlier than the Continuing students and during this week they are introduced to the key facilities in the University as well as other important aspects of life at the University.

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Admission Lists -Disability, Sports and District Quota Schemes 2024/25



Students move towards Main Building on University Road

The Office of Academic Registrar, Makerere University has released the admission list of candidates admitted under the Disability, Sports and District Quota Schemes with Government sponsorship 2024/25 Academic Year.

Kindly follow the links below to access the lists:-

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