“In Uganda, agriculture is for livelihoods, but we would like to focus on Agriculture for production and agribusiness. I am glad that young people are developing an interest in agriculture. The young people are willing to train and acquire relevant skills in modern Agriculture,” said the First Secretary and Deputy Head of Cooperation at the Embassy of Belgium in Uganda, Mr. Alexandre Brecx.
Mr. Alexandre Brecx who was accompanied by two guests from the Embassy made the remarks during a visit to Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute (MUARIK) on Monday 13th May 2019.
The historic visit aimed at strengthening the relationship between Makerere University and Belgium, understanding the operations of MUARIK and exploring possible opportunities for partnership in the field of agriculture as well as vocational skills training.
During the interaction with Staff from Makerere University’s Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, MUARIK and Mak Public Relations Office, Mr. Alexandre Brecx revealed that the Government of Belgium will focus on agriculture and vocational skills training as the next 5-year country programme.
“In the next country programme, we would like to focus on agriculture. Uganda has a huge potential for agriculture. We would like to partner with Makerere University to provide an important platform for students, youths and farmers to embrace the latest technologies in agricultural production,” he said.
Mr. Alexandre commended Makerere University for championing vocational skills training in Uganda. “I recognize Makerere University for its unmeasured effort to provide hands-on skill to the youth and farmers prioritizing agriculture. We acknowledge the important research undertaken by the Institution to solve farmers’ problems and the great innovations done from Makerere University geared towards improving Uganda’s agricultural sector,” he said.
The Belgium Government has immensely invested in building capacity of Makerere University staff especially in the area of Food and Agricultural Engineering and other related science subjects. According to Mr. Alexandre Brecx, every year the Government of Belgium sponsors students and staff from Makerere University to pursue their studies (graduate, postgraduate and research programmes) in Universities in Belgium.
On behalf of Makerere University, Prof. Noble Banadda, the Head, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering and an alumnus of Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium acknowledged support from the Government of Belgium that has enabled staff from Ugandan Institutions of Higher Learning to upgrade academically. He recognized the tremendous support the Government of Belgium is extending to Uganda through ENABEL to improve the agricultural sector of Uganda. He looked forward to a fruitful partnership between Makerere University and the Embassy of Belgium to Uganda that will lead to knowledge transfer in Agricultural Engineering and technological Incubation.
“We have the leading agricultural college in the region. It is also well known in capacity building and hands-on skills however, we need more knowledge and skills on mechanization, irrigation, equipment maintenance, agricultural and food processing equipment fabrication and welding. I am aware that Belgium mastered the art of these skills and we hope that when a partnership is sealed, we shall learn from them,” said Prof. Banadda.
Led by Mr. Tweyambe Chrysestom- the Farm Manager at MUARIK, the delegation visited the Engineering workshop where machinery and other agricultural tools are fabricated. They also visited the feed processing unit, the soil mixing and sterilization unit, the dairy chain, the banana plantation and the goats breeding unit. Throughout the tour, visitors interacted with students from Ssese Farmers Institute; who are undertaking their internship training at MUARIK.
Makerere University Agricultural Institute Kabanyolo (MUARIK) is an arm of Makerere University that interfaces with the National Agricultural research system (NARS). Seated on 650 hectares of land, the institute is being managed as a multi-disciplinary facility for training, research, outreach, and production under the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.
The Institute is located 19 kilometers North-West of Kampala off Gayaza Township on the Kampala-Zirobwe Road. It houses;
- The Center for Continuing Agricultural Education Centre (CAEC),
- A Biotechnology Lab renowned globally for undertaking continental plant breeding programmes
- The Makerere University Regional Centre for Crop Improvement (MaRCCI) focused on an African continent free from hunger and malnutrition through the provision of improved varieties of food crops in Africa
- The Graduate Training and Research Laboratory, with state-of-the-art facilities aimed at enhancing the quality of analysis of practical field work for graduate students
- The Modern Poultry Unit (KOICA) comprising three (3) sub-units with a capacity of five thousand (5000) birds each, a brooder house, a drying shed for dehydrating chicken manure and a microbial facility to grow microorganisms to be used in the fermentation of chicken manure
- The Coffee Value Addition Centre (CURAD) focused on agri-business incubation to create employment opportunities for students.
- The Dairy Value Chain Unit and the Feed Mill
Article by Mak Public Relations Office
Mak Commissions CoVAB@50 Celebrations, Awards Certificates
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
UNMA Advisory on Agriculture and Food Security Jun-Aug 2021
The Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) on 7th June 2021 released the seasonal rainfall outlook for the June-July-August (JJA) 2021 period. Contained in the outlook were advisories to various strategic sectors of the economy.
Particularly, the advisory to the Agriculture and Food Security sector was;
- JJA season is often part of the normal dry season in the areas of South-western, western, parts of the eastern, and central Uganda. The farming communities in these areas are therefore advised to be vigilant during post-harvest handling by considering proper drying of the harvest on clean surfaces, use of tarpaulins and drying on racks;
- Preparation of good storage facilities of produce to avoid compromising on quality and safety;
- Channeling of the run-off water into the gardens in order to maximize on the soil moisture conservation;
- For those areas where near normal to above normal rainfall is expected (most parts of northern and eastern Uganda), farmers are encouraged to continue with regular weeding, pest and disease surveillance and control;
- Due to the expected enhanced rainfall in those areas, water logging and proliferation of fungal and bacterial crop diseases are likely to occur.
- Open drainage channels around household and gardens to reduce risks from stagnant water causing damage to root tuber crops;
- Flash floods and waterlogging are highly anticipated to occur in low lying areas expected to receive enhanced rainfall such as Katakwi and Kapelebyong. Therefore, communities are encouraged to keep watch over their crops, animals and property;
- In Karamoja sub-region, where wetter conditions are expected, the pastoral communities are advised to diversify into boosting the production of cereals (sorghum, millet, and maize), beans, and ground nuts and sustain pasture availability for livestock.
Please see Downloads for the detailed outlook.
4th Call For Applications: MURBS Departmental Ambassadors
In February 2018, the Makerere University Retirement Benefits Scheme (MURBS) launched the Departmental Ambassadors Programme. MURBS hopes to use this Ambassadors Programme to engage more directly with its membership and enhance member education. MURBS further perceives this Programme as a means to mitigate succession planning risks.
MURBS Fund Value continues to grow, and as at 31st March 2021, it stood at Ushs 235.5bn as compared to Ushs 209.6bn as at 30th June 2020. Given this growth, there is increased need for prospective Trustees, who are well equipped with relevant knowledge and skills, and with practical exposure to the management and governance of MURBS.
- Must be employed by the University on permanent terms
- Must be an Active Member of the Scheme (currently contributing to the Scheme) and appear on the Official Register of the MURBS Active Membership as at 30th April 2021.
- Must be willing to commit time to trainings and other ambassadorial activities organised by the Scheme.
Mode of training for 4th Cohort of Ambassadors
Training for this (4th) Cohort of Ambassadors is envisaged to be conducted over the zoom online platform only, due to Covid-19 restrictions. The Scheme does not envisage any face-to-face interactions.
Tenure of Office & Termination or Withdrawal
There is no tenure of office for the Departmental Ambassador. As long as a member is willing to continue serving as an Ambassador, and the Ambassador continues to satisfy the eligibility criteria above, she or he will remain a MURBS Ambassador.
How to Apply
Interested members should complete the MURBS Departmental Ambassador Application Form 01-0218. The completed Form together with the requested attachments should be sent to info[at]murbs.mak.ac.ug and copy to wilber.naigambi[at]mak.ac.ug no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, 14th June 2021. We discourage hand delivery of applications.
MURBS shall acknowledge receipt of each application received within 12 hours and will respond to the applicants to confirm the status of their application in writing (by e-mail). Upon approval of the application, the name of the approved Ambassador together with the Department and School/Unit will be updated on the list of the MURBS Departmental Ambassadors in the Group 4 category and published on the MURBS website.
NOTE: There is no limit as to the number of ambassadors that MURBS can have in a department.
Please see Downloads for the detailed call and application form.
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