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Kafuuma Joseph- Mak alumnus transforming lives through Urban Farming and Micro gardening

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For so many years, Uganda’s agricultural sector has been famed to be the backbone of the country’s economy. To date however, numerous imperative findings have pointed out that Uganda hasn’t maximally exploited the incalculable potential of this sector in transforming lives. Archaic agricultural methods are one of the pointed out causes of this phenomena. As a university that strives to provide innovative teaching, learning, research and services responsive to national and global needs, Makerere university continues to contribute to building a strong human resource base that is ready to impact social change across all sectors of development.

Kafuuma during one of his onsite trainings at Agriculture for Health and Wealth farm located in Kijjabijjo.

With its emphasis on modernizing agriculture, Makerere University has for long provided solutions to the looming challenges that are crippling the agricultural sector. Through its strong field based research initiatives, the University has generated technologies and identified innovative approaches for improving agriculture and ensuring positive changes in farmers’ livelihoods. This has been backed by laboratory experiments and introduction of courses such as Agricultural sciences, Agribusiness management and, Agricultural and Rural innovations.

One product of these initiatives is Agriculture for Health and Wealth (AHW), a demonstration and training farm in urban agriculture. The farm is co-founded by Kafuuma Joseph, Ssebagala Harold and Tumuhimbise Enock; alumni of Makerere University who graduated in 2017 with BSc Agriculture (Crop Science) degree.

AHW is a beauty of innovation that started as model farm. Located at Kijjabijo, 9km from the Gayaza Trading Centre along Kayunga road, the now fully fledged demonstration and training farm sits on one and a half acres of land.

The farm also recycle  non-biodegradable rubbish like polythene and plastics for  micro gardening.

According to Mr. Kafuuma, AHW has developed modern innovations and technologies that are needed for urban farming with a nursery bed and seedling production area for vegetables, spices, fruits and agroforestry seedlings. The farm has also expanded to conduct onsite and field trainings on modern and urban farming, crop protection as well as recycling bio and non-bio degradable refuse.

In an interview with Mr. Mpindi Percy Christopher and Ms. Nabatte Proscovia, the Assistant Communication Officer Makerere University Public Relations Office, Mr. Kafuuma said that the big knowledge gap that exists between institutions of higher learning and communities prompted him and his friends to create a demonstration (model farm) upon which they can extend knowledge and skills obtained from the degree program to the community.

Kafuuma says that Micro and Urban gardening enables landless tenants in a single roomed apartment to have sufficient food for domestic consumption and surplus for sale

“We realized that there is too much information, new ideas and innovations generated at universities. However, most of this knowledge does not reach intended users and these are the farmers. For so long we have lacked a medium through which constructive knowledge and technologies generated by universities can reach community to improve the agricultural production,” he said.

One and a half years down the road, the team has developed unique labor and resource saving technologies allowing growing of crops on a small piece of land and in containers; enabling even a landless tenant in a single roomed apartment to have sufficient food for domestic consumption and surplus for sale.

A fence of tomatoes, Kafuuma says that farmers can reap big in this method of farming.

“Some of these technologies include sack gardening (AHW sack mound), vertical gardening, mobile gardens, rack gardens, hanging gardens; enabling even people with compounds on lawn, pavers, tarmac or concrete to grow crops without affecting the integrity of their compounds,” said Mr. Kafuuma.

He said that the technologies also facilitate recycling of non-biodegradable rubbish like polythene and plastics by using them as micro gardens for raising crops. “The bio degradable rubbish such as food leftovers is converted in to composite manure which is used to enhance plant nutrition. This recycling scheme helps to minimize blockage of water ways and spread of water borne diseases.”

Mr. Kafuuma haversting some of the vegetables in his garden.

Through technical advice on setting up and management of agricultural investments, AWH has enabled many pensioners and retirees to harness returns from their hard-earned benefits. While the Government of Uganda is looking at agriculture as a focal sector in fighting unemployment among the youth, Mr. Kafuuma says that urban agriculture and micro gardening is a virgin area that the youth can tap into.

Listening to the future prospects of Kafuuma Joseph, urban farming can promote self-sustainability and food security among the internally displaced people and refugees.

Kafuuma’s story is just one of a myriad of other ways in which Makerere’s Almuni are impacting their communities.

 

Article by Mpindi Percy Christopher, Student of Law, Makerere University and Nabatte Proscovia, Assistant Communication Officer Makerere University Public Relations Office.

Photo source: Mr. Kafuuma Joseph       

 

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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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