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Prof. Bernard Bashaasha hands over to New CAES Principal, Dr. Gorettie N. Nabanoga

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Makerere University Chancellor, Prof. Ezra Suruma appointed Dr. Gorettie N. Nabanoga as the next Principal of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Makerere University effective 1st February 2022. She is the first female Principal of CAES and will hold the position for a period of four years as stipulated in the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions (Management of Constituent Colleges of Makerere University) Statute, 2012. Dr. Nabanoga who has been Deputy Principal, CAES takes on from Prof. Bernard Bashaasha who has served in the position since August 2013.

CAES Structure

CAES is composed of three schools and eight Departments. The schools are; Agricultural Sciences; Forestry, Environmental and Geographical Sciences; and Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-Engineering. The School of Agricultural Sciences is composed of three Departments namely; Agricultural Production; Extension and Innovation Studies; and Agribusiness and Natural Resource Economics. The Departments under the School of Forestry, Environmental and Geographical Sciences include; Forestry, Biodiversity and Tourism; Environmental Management; and Geography, Geo-informatics and Climatic Sciences. The School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-Engineering is made up of two Departments-Food Technology and Nutrition; and Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering.

The College also hosts several research institutes and centres namely; Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo (MUARIK), the Makerere University Biological Field Station (MUBFS), the Food Technology and Business Incubation Centre (FTBIC), Makerere University Regional Centre for Crop Improvement (MaRCCI), Makerere University Centre of Excellence in Waste Management, Makerere University Centre for Climate Change Research and Innovations (MUCCRI), Makerere University Centre for Soybean Improvement and Development (MAKCSID), the National Biodiversity Data Bank (NBDB) – Uganda, Uganda Forestry Resources and Institutions Centre (UFRIC) – Makerere University, Continuing Agricultural Education Centre (CAEC), and a Consortium for Enhancing University Responsiveness to Agribusiness Development (CURAD). Others are; the Centre for Mountain Resources and Disaster Management, Rangeland Resources Centre, and the Agricultural Policy Analysis Centre. In addition, the College is composed of several administrative units including; the Office of the Bursar, Office of the College Registrar, Human Resource Office, Procurement and Communications.

During her four-year tenure as Principal, CAES, Dr. Gorettie N. Nabanoga will provide academic and administrative leadership to 373 members of staff and over 3,000 students in the aforementioned Units.

Some of the Administrative Staff that attended the handover ceremony.
Some of the Administrative Staff that attended the handover ceremony.

Handover ceremony

Today, 15th February 2022, the outgoing Principal, Prof. Bernard Bashaasha handed over to the new Principal at a ceremony witnessed by the Representative of the University Secretary, Ms. Consolata Komugisha; the Director Internal Audit, Mr. Walter Yorac Nono; as well as the Deans and Heads of Academic and Administrative Units at the College.

Presenting his handover report, Prof. Bashaasha congratulated the new Principal upon her appointment and briefed her on a number of issues relating to the status of CAES programmes; assets; ICT infrastructure; student enrolment; registration and graduation statistics; E-Learning; research, innovations, and outreach programmes; online presence and publicity; human resources; the financial status of the college; as well as the achievements registered; challenges experienced over the years, and the pending tasks.

Achievements registered during Prof. Bashaasha’s term of office

Key achievements registered under Prof. Bashaasha include increased student enrolment. As at December 2021, CAES had a total of 2,922 registered students. Of these 2,758 (94.4%) are undergraduate students and 164 (5.6%) are graduate students (Masters and PhD). Other achievements include growth in graduation statistics from 362 undergraduates in 2013 to 467 in 2021, and 122 graduate students in 2021 (with 21 PhDs) from 83 in 2013 with only five PhDs. There has also been accelerated research output resulting into a total of 331 publications in 2021 from 164 in 2018. “The College also revamped the Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo (MUARIK) Bulletin into Makerere University Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (MUJAES),” Prof. Bashaasha noted. According to the outgoing Principal, the College has widened research collaborations locally and internationally, established a research grants office and laid the foundation for the CAES Research and Ethics Committee (REC) to support the ethical aspects of research. “An interim REC Committee has been appointed and the application is with the National Council for Higher Education,” he explained.

Prof. Bernard Bashaasha makes his handover speech.
Prof. Bernard Bashaasha makes his handover speech.

Other achievements include; enhanced visibility of CAES through the website and other online platforms, the college quarterly newsletter, annual reports and other IEC materials; rehabilitation of research laboratories and facilities at MUARIK including the Diary Value Chain; establishment of a Botanical Garden at MUARIK, increased number of research centres and institutes; enhanced transport facilities; 50 Zoom licenses procured to support blended teaching and learning; increase in number of programmes to 13 undergraduate and 24 graduate – a total of 6 new programmes have been developed during the last 8 years and another 6 programmes are in the pipeline; increase in the number of research institutes and centres; increase in the number of high level research innovations; procurement of a standby generator for the College; and above all enhanced teamwork at the College. “We inherited a college divided in opinion and strategy. We have managed the diversity and coalesced into one CAES family working together for the good of the College, University and nation,” he said. 

Key Research, Innovations and Outreaches

The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) undertakes basic, strategic and applied research and development in the broader areas of agriculture, food technology and nutrition, forest management, and environment and natural resources management.

Prof. Bernard Bashaasha (R) presents a copy of his handover report to Dr. Gorettie N. Nabanoga (L).
Prof. Bernard Bashaasha (R) presents a copy of his handover report to Dr. Gorettie N. Nabanoga (L).

In agriculture, research and development programmes have focused on enhancing farmer-centred approaches, climate smart agricultural systems, value chain improvement for the achievement of food and nutritional security, livelihood improvement and overall rural development. The College has also pioneered R&D in biotechnology, integrated pest and disease management, linking producers to markets as well as incubation of innovation for market products.

The key research achievements include;

  • Launch of crop breeding programmes on disease and drought tolerant cowpeas and sorghum by the Makerere University Regional Centre for Crop improvement (MaRCCI)
  • Construction of a Graduate Training and Research Laboratory building at MUARIK
  • Development of a hybrid dryer, automatic communal borehole, 3D thermal imaging for the pots (value added potatoes), refractive window drying technology for fruits, and a solar irrigation pump
  • Development and release of a new soybean variety – Maksoy 6N
  • Establishment of a pig semen lab at MUARIK
  • Making diesel from recycling plastics
  • Making organic pesticides from agricultural waste
  • Invention of a three-wheeled multi-purpose farmers’ tractor – MV MULIMI, and;
  • Signing of various MoUs on research and innovations

Challenges experienced

Despite the achievements, the College has experienced a number of challenges. These include; erosion of staff, depleted transport facilities, lack of data to support blended teaching and learning, underfunding, limited research funding, lack of a budget for MUARIK, non-registration and overstay on programmes by graduate students, limited teaching space, and depleted ICT facilities. Prof. Bashaasha implored the new Principal to follow up on a number of issues including; pending appointments and replacement of retired staff in critical units – appointment of a graduate programmes coordinator and a dedicated registrar to support graduate students’ registration. He also appealed to her to follow up on the operationalization of the College Research and Ethics Committee and the Grants Office, pending results, mobilization of CAES alumni to support the establishment of the College Endowment Fund, and the rehabilitation of facilities in the College.

Appreciation to staff

Prof. Bashaasha appreciated Makerere University Management and all staff for the cooperation and support accorded to him during his term of office. He pledged continued support to the new Principal and all staff at CAES.

Remarks by Dr. Gorettie N. Nabanoga

In her communication to members of staff at CAES, Dr. Gorettie N. Nabanoga appreciated the Search Committee, Senate and Council for recommending her for the position. She expressed gratitude to the CAES fraternity for their support. “I wish to thank the Search Committee, Senate and the University Council that identified me as the most suitable candidate. My appreciation to all the colleagues at CAES that encouraged, supported and provided mentorship. I will forever be grateful for the trust you have placed in me, and I commit to work tirelessly to deliver on my mandate as Principal, CAES,” she stated.

Dr. Gorettie N. Nabanoga delivering her first speech as Principal, CAES.
Dr. Gorettie N. Nabanoga delivering her first speech as Principal, CAES.

Similarly, Dr. Nabanoga extended appreciation to the outgoing Principal, Prof. Bernard Bashaasha. “I wish to pay tribute to Prof. Bernard Bashaasha who has steered CAES for the last 8 and a half years with utmost dedication and professionalism. Thank you so much for your commitment to serve CAES. It is great honour and privilege to succeed you and build upon the significant transformations you have made at CAES.  I thank you for all the support offered to me as your Deputy, which enabled me to gain management experience and advance my professionalism.”

She equally appreciated her contenders, Prof. Jacob Godfrey Agea and Dr. Patrick Okori for offering themselves for the position. “It showed the zeal and motivation you equally have to serve this university and CAES fraternity in particular. “We may have had slightly different visions and strategies to move CAES in the next 4 years, which if consolidated, shall get the College to the desired level much faster.  I pledge to seek and integrate your brilliant ideas, and also harness your networks within and outside the University,” she noted. Dr. Nabanoga acknowledged the support of the former and current Deans and Heads of Department.

Pledge to serve

Getting the Journey started, Dr. Nabanoga pledged to steer the College Management to deliberate on how best to cascade the University Mantra of a Research-Led University, and thus, nurture the CAES that everyone will be proud of.  “Through this process, all voices shall contribute to co-creating winning strategies as we nurture the CAES we shall continue to be proud of. I reiterate my aspirations of having a united, harmonious and progressive CAES and, I continue to count on your support, even much more than you did when I served as Deputy Principal. I Pledge to serve you with utmost professionalism,” she stated. Dr. Nabanoga pledged to maintain an open-door policy during her term of office. The open-door policy will not just be about leaving my office door open, but reaching out to all staff to establish their psychological wellbeing and to seek views on how to manage the College better,” she explained.

The Director Internal Audit, Mr. Walter Yorac Nono.
The Director Internal Audit, Mr. Walter Yorac Nono.

In his remarks, the Director Internal Audit, Mr. Walter Yorac Nono congratulated the new Principal upon her appointment and appreciated the outgoing Principal for the commitment and dedication that steered CAES to greater heights. “Prof. Bashaasha has come out strongly to defend CAES programmes in various Management engagements and I highly commend him for that,” he said.

The Representative of the University Secretary, Ms. Consolata Komugisha congratulated Prof. Bashaasha for the achievements registered over the years, noting that CAES had not experienced any serious financial challenges under his tenure. She congratulated Dr. Nabanoga upon her appointment as the first female Principal of CAES and pledged to support her. Commenting on the budget cuts that have led to insufficiency in most of the Units, Ms.Komugisha implored Dr. Nabanoga to work towards managing staff expectations, endeavouring to explain and opening up to staff on the situation at hand.

Ms. Consolata Komugisha represented the University Secretary.
Ms. Consolata Komugisha represented the University Secretary.

The College Human Resource Officer, Ms. Hawa Harriet congratulated the new Principal and appreciated the outgoing Principal for the cordial working relationship.

On behalf of all staff and students of CAES, the Dean, School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-Engineering, Dr. Abel Atukwase welcomed the new Principal and pledged to support her to advance the mandate of CAES. He appreciated the outgoing Principal for the cordial relationship, mentorship and guidance over the years and appealed to him to continue supporting the College.

The Dean, School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-Engineering, Dr. Abel Atukwase (Standing) passing a vote of thanks on behalf of CAES staff and welcoming the new Principal.
The Dean, School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-Engineering, Dr. Abel Atukwase (Standing) passing a vote of thanks on behalf of CAES staff and welcoming the new Principal.

Profile of the New Principal Dr. Gorettie N. Nabanoga

Dr. Gorettie N. Nabanoga is innovative, goal-oriented, dependable, trustworthy, open-minded, easy going yet a perfectionist. She enjoys co-creating ideas, learning, unlearning and re-learning when engaging with teammates. She endeavours to always use these qualities in her personal and professional engagements.

She is a Christian, Ugandan citizen, born in 1969. She holds a PhD-Social Sciences; with research in Gender and Natural Resources Management, Wageningen Agricultural University, The Netherlands; a Master of Science in Management of Natural Resources and Sustainable Agriculture (MNRSA), Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway; a Bachelor of Science in Forestry, Department of Forestry, Makerere University, Uganda, and she completed her ordinary and advanced levels of education from Mt. St. Mary’s College Namagunga, Uganda.

Dr. Nabanoga completed her 4-year Bachelor’s Degree in Forestry with an Upper Second Honors Degree of Makerere University in 1993 and has since served Makerere University growing through the academic ranks from Teaching Assistant to currently Associate Professor.

She has also held several administrative and academic leadership portfolios in the University; starting as the first female Head, Department of Community Forestry and Extension, Faculty of Forestry and Nature Conservation-MAK for 8 years; the first female Dean of Faculty of Forestry and Nature Conservation-MAK for 3 years; the first female Deputy Principal, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Makerere University for 8 years; and now the first female Principal, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Makerere University. She has also served the University on several management committees as Member of the Inaugural Board of Directors, Makerere University Holdings Company for 7 years; Chair, Procurement Sub-committee, Makerere University Holdings Company for 6 years; Chair, Research and Innovations Sub-committee, of the Change Management Committee of the URARFC, Makerere University for one year; Member of the Search Committee for Principal and Deputy Principal for the College of Health Sciences; Member of the Senate Committee in the formation of the Gender Mainstreaming Directorate (GMD); Member of Makerere University Governing Council- Science Senate representative and Member of Makerere University Senate.

She has supervised several undergraduate and graduate students and mentored staff and students, many of whom have risen though the academic ranks under her mentorship; edited a Book, published two Book Chapters, several publications in peer reviewed journals and mobilized close to US$ 14 million research grants through international collaboration with several development agencies and Universities such as Agricultural University of Life Sciences, Norway (UNMB), Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Lund and Uppsala Universities, Sweden, Wangeningen University, The Netherland, Yale University, USA, Connell University, USA, Michigan State University USA among others. And regional Universities such as Stellenbosch University South Africa; Sokoine Agricultural University, Tanzania; the University of Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia; Egerton University, Kenya as well as many Universities, Ministries, Departments and Agencies in Uganda.  She has also been part of a number of consultancy teams local, regional and international.

In fulfilling the University’s outreach and community service mandate, Prof. Nabanoga is currently serving as the Vice Chairperson, Board of Directors – Buganda Cultural and Development Foundation (BUCADEV); and Member of Technical Working Committee (TEWOCO) for the Consortium for enhancing University Responsiveness to Agribusiness Development (CURAD). She previously served as an Advisory Board Member, Uganda Martyrs University – Masaka Campus; Chair, Uganda Martyrs University’s Advisory Board Academic Planning Committee – Masaka Campus; Vice-chairperson, Board of Advisors – Environmental Management for Livelihood Improvement Bwaise Facility (EMLI); and Patron – Buganda Kingdom Environment Development Association. In the private sector, she is one of the Directors, Royal Suites Hotel (a 20 US million dollar 4-Star Suite Hotel with about 130 employees) located in Bugolobi, Kampala Uganda-. Award winner of the Investor of the Year Award in 2003 and Kalanoga Resort (a 2 US million dollar Resort with about 50 employees) located 2km off Kajjansi-Munyonyo Highway, Busabala Road Junction, Kampala, Uganda.

Prof. Nabanoga is a Uganda National Academy of Science (UNAS) Fellow, a member of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB); Uganda Society for Science and Technology (USST); Norwegian Friends of Uganda (NUFA); Uganda Forestry Association (UFA): and Buganda Kingdom Development Programme-Agro Sector.

Agriculture & Environment

CAES Annual Report 2023

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Cover page of the CAES Annual Report 2023. Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga
Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga

With utmost delight, I am honoured to present the Annual Report of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) for the year 2023. As we look back on the accomplishments and obstacles of the past year, I extend my deepest appreciation to each and every one of you who contributed to our collective achievements. It has truly been a year of fulfilment and progress. In 2023, CAES proudly celebrated the graduation of 592 students, of whom 48% were female, at the 74th Graduation Ceremony. Among them were 14 PhD, 94 MSc, 5 Post Graduate Diplomas, and 479 BSc graduates across various disciplines in agricultural and environmental sciences. My sincere congratulations to all the graduates and the dedicated staff who supported them throughout their journey.

Reflecting on the commitments made in 2022 for the year 2023, we have made substantial strides. I am pleased to report that our faculty and students successfully adapted to the blended mode of teaching and learning. We remain steadfast in our dedication to a learner-centered, practical-oriented, and gender-responsive approach, with the goal of nurturing skilled, entrepreneurial, and innovative graduates capable of addressing challenges in the Agricultural and Environmental sectors.

Furthermore, we have revised the curriculum for approximately 15 programs, enriching content to include skills relevant to entrepreneurial green economies. This underscores our commitment to fostering innovation within CAES and equipping our graduates with the tools they need to thrive in dynamic professional landscapes.

Moreover, our college continues to advance knowledge, tackle critical challenges, and make a positive impact on society. Notably, the Makerere University Regional Centre of Excellence for Crop Improvement (MaRCCI) has been elevated to an “African Host Centre (AHU/C) for training high-quality PhDs in Plant Breeding and Biotechnology.” This initiative aims to address the human resource gap in highly qualified specialists in these fields across Africa, reaffirming our commitment to excellence and leadership in agricultural education and research. For the reporting year, CAES has registered several achievements as highlighted.

Teaching and Learning for improving learner experiences

The introduction and implementation of the CAES-GRADCARE Management System represents a significant milestone in our efforts to enhance graduate management processes within the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. This innovative system was meticulously crafted to streamline operations, optimize workflow, and elevate overall efficiency and effectiveness. Its primary objectives include improving supervision mechanisms, reducing lead times, and minimizing costs associated with thesis examination. Moreover, the system empowers stakeholders with invaluable data insights, facilitating informed decision-making across various levels of academic administration.

Research and Innovation for impacting society

In our relentless pursuit of ethical research practices, we are proud to announce the establishment and full operationalization of the CAES Research Ethics Committee/Institutional Review Board (CAES-REC/IRB). This critical initiative underscores our commitment to upholding the highest standards of integrity and transparency in our research endeavors. Our dedication to innovation is exemplified by the introduction of the MakSol Cooker—a solar-powered marvel poised to revolutionize cooking practices while significantly reducing carbon footprints within households. This transformative solution not only addresses environmental concerns but also promotes sustainable living on a tangible, everyday level. Furthermore, our research efforts have yielded remarkable breakthroughs in agriculture and food security. Through the development of bio-fertilizer formulations, we aim to unlock crop productivity while simultaneously addressing soil nitrogen deficiencies, thereby enhancing household food security and bolstering agricultural sustainability. In tandem with our agricultural innovations, we have successfully bred resilient Mak Soybean, Cowpea and Sorghum varieties, capable of withstanding drought, disease, pests, and climate stress while boasting shortened maturity periods. These advancements provide a vital protein source, particularly in regions prone to agricultural challenges, and enable the production of value-added products, contributing to enhanced food security and resilience, further enhancing the agricultural value chain. In our quest for sustainable agricultural practices, we have developed innovative solutions such as the Soil Test Kit, facilitating simplified soil management by offering rapid semi-quantitative evaluations of essential elements crucial for optimal plant growth. This tool empowers farmers with actionable insights to optimize crop yields and promote sustainable land stewardship. Additionally, our Hybrid Refractance Window Drying equipment represents a game-changer in post-harvest handling, ensuring consistent drying of perishable agricultural produce. By preserving the quality of fruits and vegetables, this technology enhances the value chain, thereby maximizing agricultural productivity and reducing post-harvest losses. Furthermore, our efforts extend beyond crops to encompass livestock management and nutrition. Through the development of protocols for Banana Tissue Culture and value addition to Sweet Potato-Sorghum enterprises, we aim to improve agricultural livelihoods and economic resilience among farming communities. Innovative solutions such as rearing and utilizing blue flies, maggots, and earthworms as alternative protein sources for poultry and fish feeds demonstrate our commitment to sustainable feed production. These efforts not only diversify protein sources but also promote circular economies by utilizing agricultural by-products effectively. Moreover, our research endeavors have yielded transformative solutions to combat malnutrition and poverty. The development of a livestock milk booster, derived from sugarcane industrial waste, addresses nutritional deficiencies while enhancing dairy production, thereby improving livelihoods and food security. Our commitment to research and innovation for societal impact is unwavering. From ground-breaking agricultural technologies to transformative solutions for nutrition and food safety, we remain dedicated to advancing sustainable development and improving livelihoods across communities. Through collaborative efforts and relentless innovation, we strive to create a brighter, more resilient future for all.

Knowledge transfer and Community engagement

This 2023 Annual Report highlights several impactful knowledge sharing initiatives undertaken by CAES: i) NARO-Makerere Third Joint Scientific Conference, ii) Summer School on Landscape Ecology, iii) International Collaboration in Soybean Research, iv) Policy Dialogue on Climate Science, v) Recognition at the 29th Source of the Nile National Agricultural Show, vi) Youth and Innovation Expo 2023, vii) Training Programs for Capacity Building, viii) Capacity Building in Seed and Agronomic Practices, and ix) Soybean Seed Distribution. These initiatives underscore CAES’ commitment to knowledge transfer, community engagement, and sustainable agricultural development, reflecting our dedication to fostering innovation and driving positive change in Uganda and beyond. The accomplishments detailed in this report are a testament to the unwavering dedication and collaborative efforts of our esteemed staff, students, and partners.

Throughout this reporting year, we have witnessed remarkable growth and achievement among our faculty members, with several individuals being promoted and duly recognized for their outstanding contributions.

Looking ahead, we are presented with a multitude of opportunities to further our impact and achieve even greater heights of excellence. As we embark on the next chapter of our journey, we remain steadfast in our commitment to academic excellence, research, innovation, and societal impact. In the coming year, we will continue to focus on strengthening our academic programs, fostering interdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder collaboration, and expanding our innovative research initiatives to address pressing challenges in agriculture, environmental sustainability, and food security. We will also prioritize initiatives aimed at enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within our college community, ensuring that all voices are heard and valued. As we navigate the path ahead, I am confident that together, we will overcome any challenges that may arise and continue to make significant contributions to the advancement of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. As Winston Churchill stated, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts”.

I invite you to explore the pages of this Annual Report to learn more about our achievements, challenges, and aspirations for the future.

Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga
PRINCIPAL, CAES

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Agriculture & Environment

The Joint ClimSMART-NORHED II CSA Summer School Second Edition 2024 Kicks Off at Mak

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Participants of the joint CSA-ClimSMART Summer School at Makerere University’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES). Inauguration of the 2024 edition of the ClimSMART-NORHEDII CSA Summer School funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and the Norwegian Research Council, kick off theory sessions from May 27th to 28th, 2024, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

By Brian Ogenrwoth

Makerere University, in collaboration with Gulu University, has inaugurated the 2024 edition of the ClimSMART-NORHEDII CSA Summer School. Funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and the Norwegian Research Council, the program began with a series of theory sessions from May 27th to 28th, 2024. This year’s event has drawn 23 postgraduate students (MSc and PhDs) from 7 countries studying at 5 African universities namely; Makerere University, Gulu University, University of Zambia, Hawassa University and University of Juba, and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU). Additionally, 16 scientists and three postdoctoral researchers from the participating institutions have joined the initiative.

CAES Principal, Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga addressing the participants. Inauguration of the 2024 edition of the ClimSMART-NORHEDII CSA Summer School funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and the Norwegian Research Council, kick off theory sessions from May 27th to 28th, 2024, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
CAES Principal, Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga addressing the participants.

Prof. Jackline Bonabana, the Principal Investigator of the ClimSMART project and Co-Principal Investigator of the NORHED II CSA project who coordinated the Summer School, emphasized the comprehensive and multifaceted nature of the program. She highlighted that the sessions would cover critical topics in climate-smart agriculture, biochar, climate change, and food security. Prof. Samuel Kyamanywa, the Principal Investigator of the NORHED II CSA project, applauded the collaborative efforts of the Climsmart/NORHED II partners and delivered an engaging presentation on insect pests and their management in the context of climate change.

Prof. Jan Mulder of NMBU delivering a presentation on food security in Sub-Saharan Africa. Inauguration of the 2024 edition of the ClimSMART-NORHEDII CSA Summer School funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and the Norwegian Research Council, kick off theory sessions from May 27th to 28th, 2024, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Jan Mulder of NMBU delivering a presentation on food security in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Prof. Vegard Martinsen from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) underscored the vast research opportunities in climate-smart agriculture on the African continent. He noted the region’s unique context and the increasing impact of climate change as pivotal factors for continued need for meaningful research and empirical evidence.

Participants and scientists listening to presentation on site assessment and sampling for agriculture. Inauguration of the 2024 edition of the ClimSMART-NORHEDII CSA Summer School funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and the Norwegian Research Council, kick off theory sessions from May 27th to 28th, 2024, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Participants and scientists listening to presentation on site assessment and sampling for agriculture.

Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga, Principal of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) at Makerere University, presented on critical thinking and officially welcomed participants, stressing the urgent need to upscale such collaborative efforts to tackle food insecurity and climate change. She affirmed that such programmes align to the Makerere University agenda and strategic direction.

Participants at MUARIK. Inauguration of the 2024 edition of the ClimSMART-NORHEDII CSA Summer School funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and the Norwegian Research Council, kick off theory sessions from May 27th to 28th, 2024, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Participants at MUARIK.

The sessions also featured a variety of expert presentations, including:

  • Food Security in SSA by Prof. Jan Mulder (Norwegian University of Life Sciences)
  • Site Assessment and Sampling for Agriculture by Prof. Lydia Chabala (University of Zambia)
  • Aqua Crop Model for Land Management by Prof. Elijah Phiri (University of Zambia)
  • Understanding Basic Concepts in Soil Fertility by Dr. Patrick Musinguzi and Prof. Twaha Basamba Ali (Makerere University)
  • Weed Management by Dr. Sylvester Katuromunda (Makerere University)
  • Co-Composting Organic Wastes with Biochar by Prof. Fantaw Yimer (Hawassa University)
  • Socio-Economic Topics like personal branding and marketing by Prof. Basil Mugonola and Dr. Walter Odongo, climate resilience governance and management practice by Dr. Patrick Byakagaba (Makerere University), and communication and presentation skills by Mr. Edward Gita (Rural Enterprise Development Solutions). Very insightful presentations were made by the Post Doc and PhD students as well.

The practical sessions, scheduled from May 29th to June 9th, 2024, will include farmer field visits, laboratory sessions, group discussions, data analysis, and presentations at Gulu University.

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Agriculture & Environment

Eco Brixs Seeks to Collaborate with Mak in Plastics Waste Management

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The CEO of Eco Brixs, Mr. Andrew Bownds (2nd R) with the Makerere University team led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (3rd R) after the meeting on 8th May 2024. Rotary Peace Centre, Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Poor waste disposal remains one of the biggest challenges in Uganda pausing a number of environmental and health risks. According to the Ministry of Water and Environment, plastic waste is becoming disastrous to urban and rural areas due to poor disposal practices. All store purchases are packaged in polythene bags, and without proper disposal, plastic garbage can be seen everywhere. During the rainy season, they are washed into water channels, where they block drainage. Single-use packaging for soda, water, and other drinks results in mountains of garbage heaping up in legal and illegal dumpsites – The Independent Magazine, 30th May 2022.


As a measure to improve plastics waste management in the country, Eco Brixs has reached out to Makerere University to collaborate in addressing the challenge. On 8th May 2024, the CEO, also Co-Founder of Eco Brixs, Mr. Andrew Bownds held a meeting with Makerere University officials led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe in which they brainstormed on different areas for collaboration.

Proposed areas for collaboration

  1. Research, Eco Brixs seeks to collaborate with Makerere University in Product Testing. Eco Brixs is producing new products monthly and requires lab tests to support UNBS certification. The Company also seeks to collaborate with Makerere in Environmental Research. The Company intends to work with PhD students to complete focused research on plastic pollution and the recycling process.
  2. Internships – Eco Brixs has had 50 students complete internships and would love to grow that with Makerere.
  3. Be Makerere Official Recyclers – Eco Brixs seeks to be the recycler of Makerere University. Suggestions were made to jointly source funding to address the challenge and to set up a plastic waste collection centre at Makerere University.

During the meeting, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe welcomed the initiative and reiterated the need to include students on projects to ensure sustainability. The meeting was attended by among others the Principal, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga; the Dean, School of Forestry, Environmental and Geographical Sciences, Dr Revocatus Twinomuhangi; and the Manager in charge of Accounts and Reporting at Makerere University, Mr Lubowa Ssebina Gyaviira.

About Eco Brixs

Eco Brixs is a plastic recycling enterprise which uses a sustainable circular economic model to address the challenges of plastic waste and high unemployment levels in Uganda. Eco Brixs collects, recycles, and processes plastic waste into Eco Products for a ready market. Addressing plastic pollution and lifting people out of abject poverty through sustainable employment is one of the core roles of Eco Brixs. Operating since 2017, Eco Brixs has a plastic waste collection network that has seen 3,000 people delivering plastic into one of the enterprise’s 44 Buy-Back centres and engaging in earning through the recycling economy. Eco Brixs model is replicable and scalable to achieve its vision of being the Biggest Recycler in East Africa with franchises across the developing world. Eco Brixs is focused on driving green job creation through sustainable conservation.

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