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Mak Secures another 10 Hectares in Rupa Sub-County Moroto for Livestock Café

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By Jane Anyango

Makerere University has secured an additional 10 hectares of land from the pastoralist community in Rupa Sub-County, Moroto District for establishment of a livestock café. The allocated land comes with a valley tank and cattle crush. This was the Drylands Transform project’s second land offer in the Karamoja sub-region following the first in Poron Sub-County, Napak District.

Livestock cafés will be the experimental sites to study forage productivity, establish novel co-learning and knowledge exchange centers and create opportunities for milk and fodder value chains.

The Sub-County and Village officials symbolically hand over the site to the Moroto District team on 24th October 2021.
The Sub-County and Village officials (R) symbolically hand over the site to the Moroto District team (L) on 24th October 2021.

The land was handed over to the project by Moroto District and Rupa Sub-County Technical and Administrative officials and witnessed by clan leaders at Lokapel Village on Sunday 24th October, 2021.

The handover ceremony was attended by the Local Council (LC) V Chairman Mr. Loru Moses, the LCV Woman Councillor Ms. Lochoro Clementina, the LCIII Chairperson Mr. Adipa John Robert Akiki, the Speaker Mr.  Komol Parl Miki and the LCI Chairman Lokapel village Mr. Lotee Nangiro. Also present were the Youth Representative and Clan Elders Mr.  Achok Lopeima and Mr. Eluktoper Ngorok.

The Moroto District team in turn symbolically hands over the site to the Drylands Transform Project Research Team on 24th October 2021.
The Moroto District team (L) in turn symbolically hands over the site to the Drylands Transform Project Research Team (R) on 24th October 2021.

The valley tank and cattle crush within the project site university were also handed over to the research team and supplemented by an alternative site in the event of insecurity during the December –January dry spell.

Speaking at the project site during the inception meeting, the clan leaders led by Mr. Achok Lopeimal said the community accepted to offer the land to the project and expressed willingness to protect and utilize it after the project cycle.

Clan Elder Mr. Achok Lopeimal (C) shows Prof. Denis Mpairwe (R) some of the plant species that need to be conserved by the project.
Clan Elder Mr. Achok Lopeimal (C) shows Prof. Denis Mpairwe (R) some of the plant species that need to be conserved by the project.

The clan leaders also asked the researchers to include the conservation of the indigenous plant species in the livestock cafés. The species identified for conservation include; Ekapelimea (for treatment of cough and chest infections), Ekodoli (for treatment of wounds), Eusugu (a remedy for infections and chest pain), Ekorete (for diarrhea and milk enhancement) and Etoke (used as fruit and remedy for stomachache).

Other species were Ekoke (eaten like groundnut paste), Ekaramuae (fodder), Ebei (food) and Epipa (mixed with soil or water and smeared on the body or sprinkled on enemies for protection). Others are Acacia Seyal a tree species useful for production of gum arabic and bee keeping currently threatened by charcoal burning.

Clan elder Mr. Achok Lopeimal (L) demonstrates the importance of star grass during traditional marriage ceremonies as LC5 Chairman Mr. Loru Moses (R) listens attentively.
Clan elder Mr. Achok Lopeimal (L) demonstrates the importance of star grass during traditional marriage ceremonies as LC5 Chairman Mr. Loru Moses (R) listens attentively.

The locals also want the University to address issues of bush burning and tick control that have led to low productivity of livestock as well as research on an invasive weed for pasture commonly known as Epoo, which when consumed by a lactating cow, makes milk bitter.

The LCIII Chairman Mr. Adupa John Robert Akiki said the community has given 10 hectares of land to the project for the benefit of the Sub-County.

LCIII Chairperson Mr. Adupa John Robert Akiki speaks during the meeting onsite prior to the handover.
LCIII Chairperson Mr. Adupa John Robert Akiki speaks during the meeting onsite prior to the handover.

“We have the tank for watering and the cattle crush for spraying within the land. The land is located in Lokapel village, Moroto District and we are going to demarcate with the councilors and clan leaders present here”, Mr. Adupa said.

Makerere University Drylands Transform Principal investigator Prof. Denis Mpairwe appreciated the Moroto District Local Government leadership for the cooperation and offer of land.

The Research team led by Prof. Denis Mpairwe (2nd L) and LCIII Chairperson Mr. Adupa John Robert Akiki (L) look at a species of shrub used as a remedy for coughs proposed for conservation by livestock café.
The Research team led by Prof. Denis Mpairwe (2nd L) and LCIII Chairperson Mr. Adupa John Robert Akiki (L) look at a species of shrub used as a remedy for coughs proposed for conservation by livestock café.

Prof. Mpairwe said the university was in Moroto and Rupa Sub-County in particular, to ask for land, blessings and commitment by locals to work with the project, adding that all data collection and knowledge sharing will be done by the locals.

He described the additional components of a dam and the spray race at the project site as an added advantage that the project will build upon for tick control and provision of water for livestock.

The Drylands Transform project Principal Investigator (PI) Prof. Denis Mpairwe at the rear end of the cattle crush.
The Drylands Transform project Principal Investigator (PI) Prof. Denis Mpairwe at the rear end of the cattle crush.

Prof. Mpairwe explained that a team of researchers will work with the clan elders and local residents to gather the information on indigenous species for purposes of conservation and also form a component of the livestock café.

He said the project’s target is knowledge sharing, teaching the people on what to do to conserve the land, increase on its productivity, stop degradation, improve human and animal health and in the long run, improve the livelihoods of people.

The cattle crush within the project site will be used for tick control.
The cattle crush within the project site will be used for tick control.

“The livestock café will be  used as a learning site or school to demonstrate how the pastoral communities can utilize the land sustainably  without degrading it  and in this they will understand the dangers associated with bush burning.  We shall also teach and demonstrate how to improve on land productivity and in the long run, improve the livelihoods of the people.

The livestock cafe according to Prof. Mpairwe will look at how to improve all the crops, the pasture and trees in the area and also try to address the challenges of the dryland areas such as water and feed scarcity by showing pastoralists the sustainable ways of conserving water and making hay as future fodder for livestock during the time of plenty.

The valley tank located within the project site.
The valley tank located within the project site.

About Drylands Transform Project

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences  is leading a multidisciplinary team of researchers from Umea University, Gothenburg University, University of Nairobi, Makerere University, World Agroforestry (ICRAF) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to implement the: “Achieving the SDGs in East African drylands: Pathways and challenges towards  a transformation of landscapes, livestock and livelihoods in the East African drylands (Drylands Transform)” project in the greater Karamoja cluster of Uganda and Kenya

The Karamoja cluster of drylands covers Western Pokot, Kenya, Turkana region, the South Western and Eastern part of Ethiopia, the South Eastern part of South Sudan and the whole Karamoja region of Uganda.

The LCV Chairperson Mr. Longra John Bosco (C) speaks during the onsite meeting.
The LCV Chairperson Mr. Longra John Bosco (C) speaks during the onsite meeting.

Drylands Transform is a five-year project funded by the Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development, Formas, within their call for realizing the global Sustainable Development Goals. It aims to address complex challenges in the East African drylands such as climate change, food insecurity, land and ecosystem degradation and weak institutions.

The field studies will take place in four sites providing variation in livelihood strategies, land management and climate that is, Chepareria (Kenya) and Matany (Uganda) in the south dominated by agro-pastoralist communities as well as Lokiriama-Lorengippi (Kenya) and Rupa (Uganda) in the north dominated by pastoralists.

A native wound-healing species proposed for conservation by the Drylands Transform project in the livestock café.
A native wound-healing species proposed for conservation by the Drylands Transform project in the livestock café.

The project investigates the inter linkages between land health, livestock based livelihoods, human wellbeing and land governance mechanisms in order to contribute to transformative change and sustainable development of the social ecological system in drylands of East Africa. The overall goal is to contribute knowledge for the implementation and achievement of the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while optimizing synergies and minimizing trade-offs between SDGs, in the East African drylands by developing transformative pathways through policy and practice.

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

Agriculture & Environment

IGE Cross-country National Policy Review & Training Workshop opens in Uganda

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Front Row: Swedish Ambassador to Uganda-H.E. Maria Håkansson (6th L), Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (7th L) and Director EfD Global Network Assoc. Prof. Gunnar Kohlin (5th L) with other officials at the IGE workshop opening ceremony on 23rd November 2021, Speke Resort Munyonyo, Kampala.

The three-day Inclusive Green Economy (IGE) cross-country National Policy Review and Training Workshop was on 23rd November 2021 opened at the Speke Resort Hotel Munyonyo in Uganda attracting over forty members of academia and policy makers from the Swedish Environment for Development (EfD) Global hub and the East African countries including Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ethiopia.

The function running 23rd -25th November, 2021 was organized by the EfD-Mak Centre, Uganda in collaboration with University of Gothenburg, as part of the activities of the Inclusive Green Economy (IGE) capacity building programme for senior civil servants and policy makers sponsored by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

The purpose of the National Policy Review (NPR) training is to strengthen cross-country peer learning by conducting an analytical review of their neighboring country’s NPR, and strengthen networks on Inclusive Green Economy in the region.

Ambassador Maria Håkansson (R) and Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe stand for the anthems during the opening ceremony of the workshop.
Ambassador Maria Håkansson (R) and Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe stand for the anthems during the opening ceremony of the workshop.

The workshop was opened by the Swedish Ambassador to Uganda H.E. Maria Håkansson. The function was also graced by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development, the Vice Chancellor Makerere University Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe and the Principal College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS) Assoc. Prof. Eria Hisali.

Focus is to keep track towards Agenda 2030 and Paris Agreement for a green transition

Ambassador Håkansson said the workshop comes at a right time as the world experiences the effects of climate change.

“We are living in the mix of climate change. It is no longer a distant problem for the future generation. It affects all of us living now and climate and biodiversity is top priority of my government and we see it clearly linked to poverty reduction and economic development”, She said.

Ambassador Maria Håkansson makes her remarks at the conference.
Ambassador Maria Håkansson makes her remarks at the workshop.

She noted that although a lot of focus today is on COVID-19 pandemic, there is need to start tracking the way out of the crisis towards recovery.

“Recovery strategies need to be developed to promote inclusive growth, employment and competitiveness. Identifying such strategies will depend on how deep and long lasting the economic recession becomes and should also include structural elements that can be used as opportunities to undertake important reforms for the future.

And in doing so, we must endure the approach of the UN Secretary General. We must ensure that the recovery strategies keep us on track towards Agenda 2030 and those of the  Paris Agreement of building  a sustainable  inclusive economy that is a recovery base for a green  transition”, the Ambassador emphasized.

Some of the participants attending the three day workshop listen to proceedings during the Opening Ceremony.
Some of the participants attending the three day workshop listen to proceedings during the Opening Ceremony.

She reported that Sweden was the first country to pass an environmental protection act in 1967 and has continued to take a leading role in tackling climate change to government action and set a goal for carbon neutrality that is more ambitious to the Paris Agreement.

In addition the Ambassador said, the Swedish government has successfully decoupled carbon dioxide emissions from growth since 1997 without compromising public welfare while increasing prosperity for its inhabitants.

By adopting ambitious climate policies, Sweden also wants to set a good example for others to follow and in doing so, it is one of  the world largest providers of climate financing and sharing knowledge and incorporating various programmes such as the Inclusive Green Economy in practice

Uganda’s progress towards inclusive green economy implementation

Representing the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Ms. Maris Wanyera said, for years, Uganda has experienced a positive trend in population growth which is associated with increased unemployment and environmental destruction.

Ms. Maris Wanyera represented the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED).
Ms. Maris Wanyera represented the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED).

“The country is still challenged with the continuous abuse of natural resources especially forests and wetlands. Relatedly, this has raised concerns on whether the attained economic growth has not been achieved at the expense of the environment and natural resources”. Ms. Wanyera said

As the 2030 Agenda took effect globally, Wanyera said, Government took steps to implement principles such as green growth that are embodied in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Uganda was among the first countries to mainstream SDGs into its development plan, although a strategy that unpacks green growth into sectoral interventions that can be implemented had not yet been devised.

Some of the participants drawn from Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ethiopia attending the three-day Inclusive Green Economy (IGE) cross-country National Policy Review and Training Workshop from 23rd to 25th November 2021 at Speke Resort Munyonyo.
Some of the participants drawn from Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ethiopia attending the three-day Inclusive Green Economy (IGE) cross-country National Policy Review and Training Workshop from 23rd to 25th November 2021 at Speke Resort Munyonyo.

In response, Government developed the Uganda Green Growth Development Strategy (UGGDS) as the blue print to operationalize green growth principles and accelerate the implementation of global development goals, Uganda Vision 2040 and the National Development Plans 2 and 3”, Ms. Wanyera said.

The goal of the UGGDS according to Wanyera is to achieve an inclusive low emissions economic growth process that emphasizes effective and efficient use of natural, human and physical capital while ensuring that natural assets continue to provide for present and future generations.

For purposes of achieving the objectives of the UGGDS, Ms. Wanyera said, Government requires that all new projects across all sectors include aspects of sustainable green growth largely emphasized in implementation of the National Development Plan II (2015 – 2020) and currently in NDP III (2021 – 2026).

Accordingly, the NDP III (2021-2026) has a fully-fledged program on climate change in addition to mainstreaming it in all other programmes.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe addresses participants at the Opening Ceremony on 23rd November 2021.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe addresses participants at the Opening Ceremony on 23rd November 2021.

“Uganda has just recently passed the National Climate Change Act 2021 and  to further augment the Green Growth Development Strategy and to address the post COVID 19 recovery, the country is working on integrating climate-resilient and low carbon emission measures into Government’s stimulus and recovery packages. The priority areas are: climate finance, ICT (Digitalization of sectors), resilient transport, urban and built environment, energy, human capital development and public procurement”, Wanyera said.

Environmental degradation a matter of urgency for Uganda’s academia

The Vice Chancellor Makerere University Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe  said it is extremely urgent for Uganda to think  of addressing  the issue of environmental depletion.

“There is massive use of firewood as the major source of cooking fuel, cutting down trees for charcoal for home use and export to countries like South Africa. It may be fetching us some little money but we need to think of our future generation.

As a country we need to sit and think seriously about alternative energy sources and reduce the destruction of the environment, otherwise we are heading for real trouble and we are going to leave our children in difficult  situations”, Prof. Nawangwe said.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (R) interacts with Director EfD Global Network Assoc. Prof. Gunnar Kohlin (L) and another official after the opening ceremony.
Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (R) interacts with Director EfD Global Network Assoc. Prof. Gunnar Kohlin (L) and another official after the opening ceremony.

The Vice Chancellor noted that government has tried to come up with laws on protecting the environment  but the challenge remains with enforcement. Alternatives such  as use of electricity and solar energy are in place but with limitations of affordability and reach. Prof. Nawangwe said these requires the private sector to come on board  to supplement government efforts.

As a university, the Vice Chancellor said, the issues of climate change, environmental degradation and  the increasing population growth are important to the university.

“The university has a responsibility to conduct research and take the lead in finding solutions to the  pressing issues and  giving evidenced policy briefs to government to make decisions and come up with new workable policies based on research. We have a number of researchers working on environmental issues and I am happy that the university of Gothenburg is working with Makerere on environment issues through the EfD-Mak Centre”, Prof. Nawangwe said.

He said the university promotes multidisciplinary research that brings together expertise in agriculture, economics, forestry, environment and gender among others in trying to seek solutions to  environmental challenges facing the country.

IGE fellows challenged on addressing capacity gaps, domestication and monitoring progress of the Inclusive Green Growth concept

The Principal, College of Business and Management Sciences-Assoc. Prof. Eria Hisali addresses participants at the opening ceremony.
The Principal, College of Business and Management Sciences-Assoc. Prof. Eria Hisali addresses participants at the opening ceremony.

The Principal College of Business and Management Sciences, Assoc. Prof. Eria Hisali paid tribute  to the leadership of the EfD-Mak Centre for  mentoring  the IGE fellows in Uganda pledging commitment to support to the program.

Assoc. Prof. Hisali challenged the IGE fellows to look at the capacity gaps in matters related to inclusive green economy noting that the training in Uganda has covered six fellows and this is only a drop in the ocean compared to size of public service in and the challenges posed by climate change and environmental degradation.

“…how fast are we going to scale up the group to reach out  to a bigger number of people? The second challenge is the domestication of the concept of inclusive green economy. With the different international protocols, experience given and many ideas on how to take up the inclusive green economy, how much of this has been domesticated across the different countries?

Do we have a coherent framework in our countries for monitoring and evaluating the progress and how much of  this concept is appreciated out there and if not, what should we do to cover the capacity gaps?”, Assoc. Prof. Hisali asked.

Jane Anyango is the Communication Officer, EfD-Mak Centre

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Agriculture & Environment

Mak Researchers Skilling Roadside Plant Nursery Owners on Business Management & Sustainable Practices

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The Principal Investigator, Dr. Edward Nector Mwavu (Standing) during the skilling of roadside plant nursery owners on business management and sustainable practices on 11th November 2021 in Kawanda.

Uganda’s roadside urban and peri-urban plant nurseries are a unique small-scale business that play a critical role in poverty eradication by acting as green businesses and providing employment to many youth and women. However, their growth and sustainability is threatened by inadequate requisite business management skills and knowledge. To remedy this, a multi-disciplinary team of researchers from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS), and the College of Business Management (CoBAMS), Makerere University have embarked on activities to build business management skills and sustainable plant nursery management practices among their owners, operators, and workers. The researchers namely; Dr Edward Nector Mwavu (Principal Investigator), Dr Anthony Tibaingana, Dr Paul Ssegawa, Dr Grace Nakabonge and Ms. Agatha Syofna are working in collaboration with officials from the Ministry of Local Government and National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO).

The activity is intended to enhance profitability of the roadside plant nursery business.

Through their project titled Building business management skills and sustainable practices among urban and peri-urban roadside plant nursery owners, operators and workers for resilient ‘green’ businesses in Greater Kampala, Uganda, the researchers are training roadside farmers on the best plant and business management practices.

The project is supported by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF).

According to the researchers, building capacity coupled with the provision of access to technical information could greatly help move the nursery businesses from where they are today to where their owners and managers want them to be. Furthermore, the skilling of roadside plant nurseries operators and workers to sustainably manage them as green businesses, is a triple-win strategy since it supports the improvement of livelihoods of many low-income urban and peri-urban households, and boosts plant conservation, urban agriculture as well as forestry development. “If properly managed and maintained these ‘green’ businesses have the potential to fulfil a variety of financial returns,” the researchers advise.

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Agriculture & Environment

Pathogens Severely Affecting Agricultural Production in Africa – Researchers

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Dr. Nicholas Kagimu, Convener of Future Africa’s Early Career Research Leader Fellowship (ECRLF) Dissemination Workshop on Pathogens, 8th-9th November 2021, Kampala Uganda.

Agriculture is the backbone of Uganda’s economy, employing about 73% of the population and contributing approximately 20% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 48% export earnings. The National Development Plan (NDP III) identifies agriculture as one of the key growth opportunities with the highest potential to generate employment and have positive multiplier effects on other sectors. The Agricultural sector contributes about 50% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of most countries in Africa, and plays a pivotal role in ensuring food security across the globe. The sector is however derailed by a number of factors. Key among these are pathogens that are greatly undermining crop production in the country and Africa in general.

On 8th-9th November 2021, the Department of Agricultural Production, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Makerere University in partnership with the University of Pretoria, South Africa held a research dissemination workshop at Golf Course Hotel, Kampala to deliberate on a number of issues affecting the sector. Convened by Dr Nicholas Kagimu under the theme “The Impact of Pathogens on Agricultural Production”, the workshop was part of the activities under the Future Africa’s Early Career Research Leader Fellowship (ECRLF) programme at the University of Pretoria intended build a critical mass of the next generation researchers in Africa. It drew participants from academic and research institutions across Africa.

Topics discussed included; the Status of nematology research in Uganda by Dr Hebert Talwana (Department of Agricultural Production, CAES); Bioprospecting of the Natural Products from Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus bacteria and their application in agriculture by Dr Nicholas Kagimu (ECRL Fellow at Future Africa, University of Pretoria); Entomopathogenic fungi for insect crop management by Dr Jeninah Karungi (School of Agricultural Sciences, CAES); An overview of Entomopathogenic nematodes- EPN (insect-killing-worms) in Africa/ICIPE perspective presented by Dr Solveig Haukeland, ICIPE Nairobi); Status of liquid culture development for commercialization of entomopathogens in South Africa (Prof. Antoinette Malan, Stellenbosch University); Forest pest surveillance to protect Africa’s forest resource (Prof. Brett Hurley, FABI – University of Pretoria); Bio-control agents in pest management in Uganda’s forest systems (Dr Peter Kiwuso – NaFORRI); Bio-prospected products from insects (pharmaceutical, nutritional, cosmetics) presented by Dr Alice Nabatanzi, College of Natural Sciences – Makerere University; Chemical defenses of forest trees to fungal infection and the consequences of these defenses on insect herbivory (Prof. Almuth Hammerbacher – FABI, University of Pretoria); What Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), University of Pretoria  can offer in collaboration with research and industry in Uganda (Prof. Bernard Slippers – Director FABI, University of Pretoria; Tsetse fly vector: effects distribution and control in Uganda; Tick epidemic and vaccine development; Helminths and helminths control in small ruminants (Dr Idibu Joachine –CoVAB, Makerere University); Veterinary drug use and resistance; Potential of biopesticides in small holder agricultural systems (Dr Paul Sigombe – Real IPM Uganda); as well as Chemical control of internal and external parasites in livestock by Dr Ivan Kisakya from MTK Uganda.

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