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Agriculture & Environment

Mak Wins Two Sida EfD 2021 Grants Worth USD 144,918

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By Jane Anyango

A team of researchers from Makerere University led by Dr. Aisha Nanyiti and Dr. Fred Matovu have won two of the Environment for Development Initiative (EfD ) 2021 Grants  worth  USD 144,918 funded by Sida.

The two collaborative projects involving Makerere University, the University of Dar es Salaam Tanzania and Total Uganda were officially launched by the Principal College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS)  Assoc. Prof. Eria Hisali on behalf of university management on 18th August, 2021.

The blended  function was held  phyisically and online at the EfD-Mak Conference room in the Central Teaching Facility 2 (CTF2)  and graced by partners from EfD Tanzania, and  Dr. Franklin Amuakwa-Mensah the EfD Research Manager, responsible for administrating the EfD research fund at the EfD Global Hub in Sweden.

The USD 55,747 project titled, “A Randomized Control Trial (RCT) on the Adoption of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Cooking Technology among Fast Food (Chapati) Vendors in Uganda”, is being spearheaded by  Dr. Aisha Nanyiti as the Principal Investigator (PI) assisted by three Co-PIs  Dr. Fred Matovu,  Dr. Suzan Kavuma and Mr. Richard Ssebagala.

Dr. Nanyiti said, whereas Biomass is predominantly the energy used for cooking by households and food vendors in Africa, the technologies burden women and pose negative health and economic effects.

The PI reported that these technologies lead to deforestation which poses a risk to the environment and contributes to climate change.

Dr. Aisha Nanyiti, Principal Investigator of the Randomized Control Trial (RCT)

She observed that there are cleaner technologies like LPG available on market but the question is adoption.

“The main objective of this study is to assess the effect of hire purchase schemes and health and safety information on adoption of LPG. Specifically, this study seeks to examine the impact of information on health and safety benefits,Hire purchase, Learning from LPG use in grace period before purchase amortization, and Peer learning on adoption of LPG stoves by chapati vendors for their businesses”, Dr. Aisha Nanyiti stated.

To achieve the objective Dr. Nanyiti said the study will employ a RCT in Kampala, three treatment arms (Treatment A- information only, Treatment B-information + hire purchase and Treatment C-information + grace period learning+ hire-purchase) and also carry out Surveys (Baseline., Endline, Follow-up surveys and Peer learning interviews)

The second project worth USD 89,171  titled, “Gender differences in COVID-19 effects on food security and adaptive strategies among the urban poor: Experiences from Uganda and Tanzania”, is being led by Dr. Fred Matovu assisted by  Mr. Fred Kasalirwe, Dr.Razack Lokina and Byela Tibesigwa

“The aim of the study is to understand the impacts of the pandemic on the food situation of the households under different COVID-19-related movement restrictions, the coping strategies and the gender dimension” the PI said

Dr. Matovu said the study seeks to understand the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on food security among the urban poor and how this vary across gender.

Dr. Fred Matovu, PI of the project on Gender differences in COVID-19 effects on food security

The study will also explore the effect of COVID-19 disruptions on food affordability and consumption among urban poor and their gender dimension and how the urban poor cope with the effects of food security shocks during COVID-19 pandemic across gender.

The study methodology according to Dr. Matovu will involve the use of both primary and existing national household surveys, collection of primary data on a sample of households in Kampala and Dar es Salaam to establish the effects of COVID-19  pandemic and related lockdown measures on the food security and the coping measures adopted and how these varies by gender.

Dr. Matovu also explained that to analyse the effects of COVID-19  on food security, they will estimate the extent to which the COVID-19 crisis has affected the food security using dummies capturing the varying degrees of income loss due to the pandemic

Launching the two projects, the Principal CoBAMS Assoc. Prof. Eria Hisali  congratulated the grantees for making Makerere University proud by winning the highly competitive studies.

“It is a clearly deserved win, the effort you put in has been rewarded and it is our sincere hope that you will continue putting in the effort you have put in up to the very end and you should not relax at this stage.

The Director EfD-Mak centre and the team at the secretariat, we want to say thank you. We see the results of your efforts. I have been part of these activities and it has been one of those centre where we can see clear results”, the Principal commended.

The Principal CoBAMS, Dr. Eria Hisali speaks at the Launch of the RCT and Project on 18th August 2021

Dr. Hisali hailed the grantees for initiating the collaborative studies appealing to the collaborating institutions that this should the starting point of engaging in bigger collaborations.

He said the two studies have clear huge potential for policy whether looking at coping with effects of COVID-19 and hazardous effects of the current used energy imploring grantees to bring on board policy makers as quickly as possible to have their insights so as to quicken the uptake.

“Here we are in the middle of two things. We want to  come up with very good research results used  with rigorous techniques but we also want to use research in  in a way that will keep policy makers on board , to appreciate what is taking place and  they have a full believe that these are results that they can rely on to implement policy,” Dr. Hisali said.

Dr. Hisali also expressed the need for staff and graduate students to be brought on board to learn the new techniques and tools being used in these studies. He expressed commitment to provide administrative support that the center and researchers would require.

The Director EfD-Mak Centre Prof. Edward Bbaale welcomed participants to the launch saying, the two projects are funded by the Sida at the EfD Global Hub in Sweden .

Prof. Edward Bbaale thanked the EfD Secretariat for funding policy-oriented research projects

Prof. Bbaale said the center had already received the funding for the two projects and congratulated the two PIs and their teams for emerging as winners of the EfD grants of the year 2021.

“I want to thank the EfD Secretariat for considering to fund this policy oriented research projects. The PIs went through a competitive process starting with developing concept notes which we discussed locally here  at the EfD-Mak centre and also at  the EfD Tanzania and then sent to  EfD Secretariat for consideration and the two grantees were invited to develop full proposals”, Prof. Bbaale explained.

Prof. Bbaale said Dr. Aisha Nanyiti’s project will take one year and that of Dr. Fred Matovu is unique in the sense that it is a collaboration between EfD-Mak center and EfD Tanzania.

“EfD encourages collaborative research between centers and also between the South and the North. EfD-Mak is leading the project and it will require a transfer of part of the resources from Makerere University to the University of Dares salaam,” Prof. Bbaale said.

Research Manager EfD secretariat Dr. Franklin Amuakwa-Mensah congratulated the fund recipients for being successful. He explained that the fund acquisition process undergoes three processes involving concept note,full proposal writing and presentation. He encouraged centers to link up   to have additional funds.

The Principal Investigators, Dr. Aisha Nanyiti (L) and Dr. Fred Matovu (R) at the EfD event

He said the EfD has a Swedish grant for applied research capacity for sub-Saharan Africa where the fund is allocated to all centers in Africa to encourage them do research relating to a particular country.

The other fund he said is for other countries and open to other centers together with those in Africa and the idea is to encourage collaboration across countries.

In addition he said, there is a collaborative research program fund covering different aspects including energy, gender, carbon emissions among others to encourage collaboration across countries.

He said the global hub released money for this financial year late due to the closure of the five year term for the EfD and drafting of new programs that involved so many bureaucracies.

“Because of the delay, the projects which are supposed to end this year 2021 will be extended to  next year .

To enable unsuccessful applicants a chance to get funding and to make centers more vibrant, Dr. Amuakwa-Mensah reported that some centers have devised  a strategy of encouraging  only successful winners  to apply for funds with previous successful grantees participating  as a team .

He encourage centers to have research committees that can scrutinize and select the best  proposals  for submissions for funding.

Jane Anyango is the Principal Communication Officer, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES)

Agriculture & Environment

My Academic Journey

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Article Author Ms. Irene Bayiyana. Photo: RUFORUM

My name is Irene Bayiyana and I am one of the RUFORUM Alumni. I am an agricultural economist, with a master’s degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics and a PhD in Economics. Currently, I am working as a Research Officer/Agricultural Economist based at the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO)/ National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) – Namulonge. When I attained a bachelor’s degree, I worked as an assistant research fellow under Prof. Johnny Mugisha in the Department of agribusiness and natural resource economics at Makerere University. Through Prof. Johnny Mugisha, I got to know about the RUFORUM Grant on “Assessment of spatio-temporal bovine migratory routes and Transboundary animal disease infestation in Uganda”. Since I had the interest to advance my career, I applied for the scholarship

After my admission for the master’s degree, I wondered! what next? The African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) had only offered a partial scholarship catering for only my tuition and part of research funds. RUFORUM scholarship covered my stipend, research balance and funds to attend the 2012 RUFORUM Biennial conference thus enabling me to complete my master’s degree.

I was able to realize my dream of becoming a good scientist in 2012 at the RUFORUM Biennial Conference. Through the facilitation to attend several conferences, RUFORUM gave me a chance to interact with a broad spectrum of scientists from whom I learnt and received positive criticism and feedback on what I was doing. Moreover, the encouragement and support from different scientists that I interacted with also spurred me on as an upcoming scientist.

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Agriculture & Environment

Senior Public Servants Skilled on Policy Instruments Design under the IGE Program

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Mr. Peter Babyenda, Policy Engagement Specialist in charge of coordinating the IGE training program (L) with some of the physical participants on 16th September 2021, Protea Hotel, Kampala.

By Jane Anyango

Officials from Uganda’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have been equipped with skills and knowledge on how to design and enforce policy instruments to achieve compliance under the program called, Inclusive Green Economy (IGE) in Practice.

IGE in Practice, is a collaborative program between Makerere University’s Environment for Development Initiative (EfD-Mak) Center and the University of Gothenburg. The IGE program covers five countries namely Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda fully sponsored by Swedish Development Agency (Sida).

IGE program is aimed at strengthening Uganda’s capacity for transformation towards an Inclusive Green Economy largely under the United Nations SDG 8 that focuses on promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

A section of participants from Uganda's MDAs attending the meeting.
A section of participants from Uganda’s MDAs attending the meeting.

The program focuses on the use of environmental policy instruments, and specifically economic instruments such as environmental taxes, pollution fees, subsidies or subsidy reduction and other types of fiscal incentives for societal development in line with the Global Agenda 2030.

The two days training (16th-17th September, 2021) held physically and virtually brought Uganda’s senior public servants from the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Ministry of Water and Environment, the National Planning Authority and the National Environment Management Authority coordinated at Hotel Protea in Kampala.

The training was facilitated by the University of Gothenburg, Sweden including the IGE program Head at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, Prof. Anders Ekbom. Other instructors were Niklas Harring, Daniel Slunge, Emelie Ce’sar, Martin Solvinger and  Erik Sterner.

Prof. Anders Ekbom, IGE program Head at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden addresses participants.
Prof. Anders Ekbom, IGE program Head at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden addresses participants.

Speaking during the training, Makerere University’s Policy Engagement Specialist in charge of coordinating the IGE training program, Mr. Peter Babyenda said the major aim of the program is to create capacity among public servants to plan sustainably, so that while planning, they should be mindful of the future generation in terms of environmental issues.

Mr. Babyenda said, some of the participants from Uganda’s Ministry of Finance included the Director Cash and Debt, officials from the Department of Micro-economics and the Department of Tax.

“Why tax? If you are to regulate, you use tax. We want them on board so that they get skills and plan well.

Some of the Senior Public Servants that physically attended the meeting.
Some of the Senior Public Servants that physically attended the meeting.

Today, we have discussed how to design a policy instrument and what measures governments use in order to enforce something for example, if government wants to protect wetlands, what policy instrument can be used, and what can it  do to achieve the intended goals.

We have discussed various measures like tax and how you involve people. The public servants know these things but we want to remind them and give them new techniques so that while planning and budgeting,they should consider these issues if we are to sustainably manage the  environment”, Mr. Babyeda explained

Babyenda added that since the program inception in June 2021, two trainings have been conducted with the ones held on 16th and 17th September 2021 being the third and fourth respectively.

A screenshot of some of the facilitators and participants online
A screenshot of some of the facilitators and participants online

He said other trainings are planned for October 2021 and they will be wrapped up by regional trainings in November, 2021where the environment will be discussed generally among peers from Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Kenya and notes shall be compared.

“As you are aware, Rwanda and Kenya have gone ahead with green economy. Kenya is leading in terms of green economy and Rwanda is coming up as well as Tanzania but, in Uganda, the policy instruments are not being implemented.

Uganda was the first among those five countries to ban the use of plastics but up to now, plastics are in use and that is why we are targeting policy makers, so that they can advise the political class to manage the environment sustainably,” Mr. Babyenda stated.

A screenshot of facilitator Niklas Harring online
A screenshot of facilitator Niklas Harring online

Babyenda explained that this program  is an advanced in-service training with direct applicability in the participants’ daily work involving theoretical training within IGE, practical exercises, project development and support for implementing change.

Participants speak out on the training.

Dr. Ronald  Kagwa works with the National Planning Authority as Manager Production Trade and Trading planning and is also in-charge of implementing the Green growth  development strategy.

“We are here to build capacity in green growth policies especially how to use green growth instruments to advance inclusive growth in development. So today, has been a good day in that, we have learnt about policy instruments, trust, policy attitudes all which are critical for successful implementation of green policy instruments” Dr. Kagwa said.

Mr. Peter Babyenda (L) interacts with some trainees during a break.
Mr. Peter Babyenda (L) interacts with some trainees during a break.

Moreen Anino is an Assistant Commissioner in the Ministry of Water and Environment.

“I am happy to have learnt about social inclusion and developing instruments that are acceptable by the public because this will help us to achieve higher levels of compliance during implementation of these policies” Ms. Anino said.

Jane Anyango is the Principal Communication Officer, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES)

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Agriculture & Environment

Press Release: Twenty Two (22) winners of RUFORUM Young African Entrepreneurs Competition 2021 announced

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Delegates brainstorm during the 15th RUFORUM AGM held at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in Ghana from 2-6 December, 2019. Photo credit: RUFORUM

The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) is pleased to announce the 22 winners of the 2021 RUFORUM Young African Entrepreneurs Competition. The competition attracted 340 applications from 26 countries in Africa namely Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Cote d’Ivoire, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Somali, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia.

The following three-stage process was undertaken to identify the top 22 winners:

  1. All 340 applications were reviewed for compliance to the call guidelines
  2. A total of 319 (93.9%) applications were compliant and were each evaluated by three independent assessors
  3. Top 22 applications were selected basing on mean scores from the three independent evaluators.

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