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Agriculture & Environment

DVCAA Visits MaRCCI, Commends Infrastructural, Research and Innovation Efforts

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By Jane Anyango

Makerere University Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs (DVCAA), Assoc. Prof. Umar Kakumba has appreciated the Makerere University Regional Centre for Crop Improvement (MaRCCI) for rendering a good service towards the strategic Vision and Mission of  the University.

Prof. Kakumba was on Friday 5th February, 2021 meeting the Principal College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES)-Prof. Bernard Bashaasha, Director MaRCCI-Dr. Richard Edema and staff from the college at the Centre’s Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo (MUARIK) home.

The DVCAA officially launched the MaRCCI website and toured facilities including the Biotechnology laboratory, the refurbished Gene Bank and the construction site for MaRCCI Office block and Lecture theatres that is nearing completion.

In his remarks Prof. Umar Kakumba appreciated what was going on.

“I am very delighted. I want to thank you and appreciate what I have seen and the achievements presented. I notice that there is project extension and you should utilize the remaining part very well”, Prof. Kakumba stated.

The DVCAA expressed concern that in addition to COVID-19, admissions and student completion rates were affecting the disbursement of resources to the Centre pledging to  work with the relevant university units when the  situation normalizes.

Apart from the usual teaching, research, learning and community service, the DVCAA commended MaRCCI for her innovative capacity that makes it different.

“We are seeing these two MSc and PhD programs that you are supporting doing very well. The innovations that you are doing and research output coming through those crop are commendable.

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Agriculture & Environment

CAES Freshers Trained on ODEL Method of Teaching and Learning

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Some of the Freshers from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) listen keenly to proceedings during the training by IODeL on MUELE and other learning platforms on 24th February 2021, SFTNB Conference Hall, Makerere University.

Officials from the Makerere University Institute of Open, Distance and e-Learning (IODeL) have allayed students fears over the costs of internet connectivity as the university adopts blended learning amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic.

While introducing first year students from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) to the ODEL based method of teaching and learning, Dr. Samuel Siminyu told freshers that they will be able to access the Makerere University e-learning Environment (MUELE)  and  other learning platforms at Zero rate.

On 24th February 2021, over 500 first year students from the CAES converged at the Conference Hall in the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio engineering for training on the theory and demonstration of what technologies they will use to help them learn.

The training of freshers follows the strategy that government has adopted of staggering whereby students are on campus for short periods and in this particular semester for one month, and out  working remotely for the rest of the two months.

Dr. Siminyu said because of the adoption of blended learning which is a mix of the traditional face-to-face and online learning, the university is migrating from what was familiar to the unfamiliar territory by beginning with freshers’ introduction to this type of learning.

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Agriculture & Environment

Wageningen Online Courses with Scholarship

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Secondary School Students tour one of the exhibition stalls during the Agricultural Day and Exhibition on 25th September 2019, Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda

Apply for a scholarship for one of these online courses before 16 March 2021. After this deadline you can still register for the course when you have other sources of financing until an average of 6 weeks before the start of the course.

List of Courses

  • Food Security in a Changing Climate 2021
  • Farmer Agency for Rural Economies 2021
  • Feeding Cities: Improving Food Systems in Urban Areas 2021
  • Lost Harvest and Wasted Food 2021
  • Plant Genetic Resources and Resilient Seed Systems for Sustainable Food Security 2021
  • Local Economic Development: towards Local Agribusiness Cluster Development 2021
  • Facilitating Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships to Foster Sustainable and Inclusive Food Systems 2021
  • Youth Entrepreneurship in Agriculture and Changing Food Systems 2021
  • Engage Young People Towards Climate and Social Resilience 2021 [French]
  • Global One Health: towards Human, Animal and Plant Health 2021
  • Responsible Aquaculture Development 2021

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Agriculture & Environment

Highlights of 16 Years of Soybean Research at Makerere University

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Part of the Research Team L-R: Prof. Phinehas Tukamuhabwa-Soybean Breeder, Paul Kabayi-Senior Technician, Tonny Obua-Soybean Breeder, Mercy Namara-Training Coordinator, George Yiga-Technician

Sixteen years of soybean research at Makerere University have led to a rapid increase in the number of industries engaged in processing soybean in Uganda and neighbouring countries.

This report provides highlights of the contribution of rust-resistant soybean varieties to the agricultural sector in Uganda. It contains forward-looking research results based on current research findings and forecasts made by the Centre for Soybean Research and Development from 2002 to 2018.

Soybean was first introduced in Uganda way back in 1908. Its production was emphasized to combat malnutrition and to provide soldiers with highly nutritious food during the Second World War. Like most new crops, soybean was not readily accepted by the local people based on claims that it depleted soil fertility, could not be cooked like commonly known legumes, had beany flavor and lacked a readily available market.

The soybean crop was also not given consistent recognition by the National Agricultural Research System (NARS) and suffered decline in production due to a major out break of soybean rust disease in 1996.

Makerere University in collaboration with the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) and Vegetable Oil Development Project (VODP) of the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) undertook research to control soybean rust disease and to promote and disseminate soybean seed of locally developed superior varieties.

Through efforts of the Centre for Soybean Improvement and Development (MAKCSID), the soybean rust pandemic was brought under control, through breeding and dissemination of superior varieties to the farming communities. Currently over 93% of these varieties are grown across the country.

These efforts were spearheaded by Prof. Phinehas Tukamuhabwa from the Department of Agricultural Production.

Please see Downloads for the detailed report.

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