Connect with us

Agriculture & Environment

Mak-CAES, UNBS Launch Edible Insect Products & Standards

Published

on

Edible insects have the potential to fill the nutrition and income gaps in Uganda and Kenya. They are rich in protein and cheaper to manage. However, edible insect value chains are under-developed yet the demand is high. Business enterprises for rearing and processing quality insect food products do not exist and the business potential has not been evaluated.

Through a project titled INSBIZ – “INSect-based agriBIZiness for Sustainable grasshopper and cricket production and processing for food in Kenya in Uganda” researchers from the Department of Food Technology and Nutrition, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Makerere University in collaboration with partners from the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) set out to improve the profitability and nutritional benefits of edible insects.

The Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (C) and the Executive-Director of UNBS Mr.-David-Livingstone Ebiru (L) getting information on the products from the Project PI Dr Dorothy-Nakimbugwe (R).
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (C) and the Executive Director of UNBS, Mr. David Livingstone Ebiru (L) getting information on the products from the Project PI, Dr Dorothy Nakimbugwe (R).

Objectives of the project

The development objective of the project was to contribute to improved food and nutritional security, job creation and income generation, and reduction of the gender gap for the most vulnerable groups in East Africa in general and specifically in Kenya and Uganda through edible insects production and processing.  Specific objectives included; (1) assessing the market size and testing the market performance of insect-based foods; (2) adapting and piloting of mass rearing protocols for crickets and grasshoppers; (3) developing, characterizing and commercializing insect-enriched food products; and (4) creating a favourable enabling environment for insect-based food through policy/standards, advocacy and awareness creation.

Some of the products launched at the INSBIZ Project closing workshop.
Some of the products launched at the INSBIZ Project closing workshop.
Some of the snacks enriched with cricket powder launched at the INSBIZ Project closing workshop.
Some of the snacks enriched with cricket powder launched at the INSBIZ Project closing workshop.

The three-year project funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) through the BioInnovate Africa Programme Phase II was headed by Dr Dorothy Nakimbugwe, an Associate Professor in the Department of Food Technology and Nutrition at CAES. Other members on the project included Dr. Geoffrey Ssepuuya from the same department, and Dr. Jackline Bonabana-Wabbi from the Department of Agribusiness and Natural Resource Economics.


Project closing meeting

During the project closing meeting held in the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-Engineering Conference Hall on 28th March 2022, Makerere University together with Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) launched edible insect products and standards for the enterprise. The event was presided over by Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe and Uganda National Bureau of Standards Executive Director, Mr. David Livingstone Ebiru. It was witnessed by the Principal of CAES, Dr Gorettie N. Nabanoga; the Commissioner in charge of Entomology at the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Mr. Gidudu Masaba Ambrose; and representatives from icipe led by Dr. Chrysantus Mbi Tanga.

The products launched included shelf-stable, safe and well packaged grasshopper products, cricket enriched flours, snacks, and cookies enriched with crickets.

Project outcomes

The PI Dr. Dorothy Nakimbugwe presents an overview of the project.
The PI, Dr. Dorothy Nakimbugwe presents an overview of the project.

Addressing participants, Dr Nakimbugwe said the products would largely reduce nutritional challenges. “The majority of our people are not able to improve their diets because the foods that are high in protein, vitamins and minerals like chicken, beef and fish are expensive. We turned to insects because they address some of those problems. They are more nutritious than the conventional animal proteins like chicken, beef and fish. In addition, they take a shorter time to grow. Crickets grow in a matter of weeks compared to the other livestock. They can be harvested within 4 to 7 weeks. They also have a high feed conversion. The amount of feed you need to produce 1kg of insect is only about one and half kilogrammes. When it comes to the producing 1 kg of chicken, the amount of feed increases to about 5 kgs. If you are to produce 1 kg of beef, the amount of feed you need is 50kgs. The insects convert feed rapidly and efficiently and produce protein faster and of the same quality. They also require less space for rearing and present an opportunity to close the food and nutrition gap especially around proteins, vitamins and minerals,” she explained.

According to Dr Nakimbugwe, the project also sought to formalize the sector to make it more profitable. “For a long time, we have not had a certified product on the market because the Uganda National Bureau of Standards did not have a standard. The sector has been very informal. Insects are sold on streets and not controlled. In this project, we wanted to improve that situation. Together with the UNBS, we developed a standard for Uganda which was approved and is now available for use. For the first time you will be able to find certified insect products on the Ugandan market,” she noted.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe delivers his remarks.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe delivers his remarks.

The project also aimed mitigate the effects of climate change and greenhouse emissions that are high for animals and much lower for insects.

Other contributions included building capacity for research in this field. “The research in insects for food and feed is fairly new compared to other fields so we needed a lot of capacity development. The project was able to train the farmers and harvesters on handling of insects. We also trained students from PhDs, to MAs, undergraduates, fellows and technicians. This was necessary to sustain the research and development of this fairly noble field.”

Under the project, the researchers developed a compound feed to sustain large scale production of the insects. “If you are going to do commercial production, it is important that you have a standardized feed. In this development, we were very careful to exclude input that are also human food like silver fish and soy. Most of the feed in Uganda is in competition with the human food chain. In the project we were careful to avoid that. We formulated feed using the Black soldier fly larvae,” she explained.

The Executive Director of UNBS Mr. David Livingstone Ebiru briefs participants on the standardization process.
The Executive Director of UNBS, Mr. David Livingstone Ebiru briefs participants on the standardization process.

Other outputs included strengthened edible insect value chains – cricket farmers linked to markets; large scale production, processing and marketing of cricket and grasshopper products; approved insect based food standards in Kenya and Uganda; improved grasshopper trapping method (cost-effective, sustainable and safer); more sustainable cricket rearing – using developed feed and container prototypes; and improved food and nutritional security through increased diversity of available nutritious and safe edible insect foods. All the products developed have shelf-life of over 6 months. For the grasshopper product, this implies all-year availability to consumers.

The project also contributed to the improvement of consumer health and safety through consumption of UNBS (and KEBS)-certified insect food products; increased incomes as a result of lower post-harvest losses for cricket farmers and grasshopper harvesters through use of improved post-harvesting techniques to maintain quality and safety;  increased jobs creation and job security through improved capacity of young researchers, technicians and actors along the edible insects’ value chains; higher profile of and support for insect foods due to increased public awareness of their nutritional and commercial importance through various programmes.

The Principal of CAES Dr. Gorettie N. Nabanoga delivering her remarks.
The Principal of CAES, Dr. Gorettie N. Nabanoga delivering her remarks.

During the event, a cricket farmer from Masaka shared her experience with the enterprise. She noted that with support from the project, cricket rearing had greatly transformed her life and is now able to pay fees for her children. The project supports over 50 cricket farmers in Masaka.

Remarks by the Vice Chancellor

In his remarks, Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe applauded the researchers noting that the project would largely address challenges of food insecurity in the country. “Makerere University researchers are taking the issue of food security seriously. In Africa, the biggest challenge we have is feeding the growing population. The traditional foods are not expanding in volume and some are actually disappearing yet we have this abundancy of what you can call the animal world. There are insects that we have traditionally eaten but these are seasonal. There are also insects which we assume we should not eat but are highly nutritious and eaten by people all over the world. Researching into ways of making their products more attractive will largely increase their consumption and boost food security,” he explained. He acknowledged the efforts of the researchers towards transforming Makerere into a research-led University as per the 2020-2030 Strategic Plan.

Dr Chrysantus Mbi Tanga from icipe addressing participants.
Dr Chrysantus Mbi Tanga from icipe addressing participants.

Speaking on the need to move the country to middle income status, the Vice Chancellor urged the researchers to transform the innovations into business enterprises. “We need to move towards setting up companies that will address challenges of unemployment but also boost our economy. With these great ideas, you can become billionaires and less dependent on salary,” he advised. He cautioned researchers to work towards patenting their products.   

The Vice Chancellor appreciated SIDA and BioInnovate Africa for the support extended to the project. He also thanked the Government of Uganda for supporting research activities at the University. He urged researchers to continue engaging the government and private sector in projects, noting that research is more impactful when they work together.  

The Dean, School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-Engineering, Dr. Abel Atukwase at the workshop.
The Dean, School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-Engineering, Dr. Abel Atukwase at the workshop.

Remarks from CAES Leadership

The Principal of CAES, Dr Gorettie N. Nabanoga applauded the project team for what she described as cutting-edge research that will greatly address challenges of food insecurity, malnutrition and improve food safety. “You have made CAES and Makerere proud with this level of success registered from the project,” she said.

Dr Nabanoga appreciated the development partners and the Government of Uganda for the continued support towards research at Makerere. She also appreciated the Vice Chancellor for the untiring support towards CAES activities.

The Head, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (DABE), Makerere University, Dr. Ivan Muzira Mukisa,
Dr. Ivan Muzira Mukisa, the Head, Department of Food Technology and Human Nutrition

In their remarks, the Dean of the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-Engineering, Dr Abel Atukwase and the Head Department of Food Technology and Nutrition, Dr Ivan Muzira Mukisa congratulated the research team upon the successes registered. They also appreciated the project partners and funders for the support extended to various programmes at CAES.

The Executive Director of Ugandan National Bureau of Standards, Mr. David Livingstone Ebiru urged the research team to extensively disseminate and rollout the project to other parts of the country. He called for innovative measures of ensuring sustainability of the projects when donor funding stops.

Ms. Josephine Nabanja a cricket farmer from Masaka sharing her experience with the enterprise and how the project has supported her.
Ms. Josephine Nabanja a cricket farmer from Masaka sharing her experience with the enterprise and how the project has supported her.

Please see below for presentations from the workshop.

Agriculture & Environment

Food vendors  can  only afford  LPG cookstoves at their households – EfD-Mak study

Published

on

A study conducted by researchers at the EfD Mak Center Uganda has shown that  Chapati vendors could only afford to use the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cook stoves at their households.  The study findings indicated that LPG cook stoves were more  costly for such small businesses.

The study also revealed that Chapati vendors demonstrated considerable credibility on settling instalments and that given appropriate terms and access to hire-purchase schemes can support adoption of cleaner and modern cook stoves by food vendors.

The study titled, “Purchase and Learning Schemes and Adoption of LPG Cook stoves: Experimental Evidence from Uganda”, was funded by  Sida under the auspices of the EfD network at  an estimated budget of US$ 55,747.

Participants attending the launch

The project was launched on 18th August 2021 under the leadership of  Dr. Aisha Nanyiti assisted by  three Co-PI’s  Prof Fred Matovu, Dr. Suzan Kavuma and  Richard Ssebagala , School of Economics, Makerere University.

Disseminating the study findings, on 13th October 2022, Dr. Nanyiti said, Biomass is predominantly the energy used for cooking by households and food vendors in Africa. In Uganda for instance Biomass constitutes 94% of energy used with Fuel wood forming 64% and Charcoal for 30%/.

Nanyiti reported that reliance on biomass increases the deforestation rate  and contributes to climate change noting that 44 million tonnes of tree biomass is used per year in Uganda posing  negative health effects with respiratory infections accounting  for 18% of all illnesses in Uganda with women facing higher risk of illness. .

She said various interventions have been undertaken to promote use of cleaner cooking technologies. Earlier studies focused on improved cookstoves while some studies asses LPG cookstoves.

These studies Nanyiti said,  focus on  adoption of and attitude towards  LPG  and identify barriers in high initial cost, limited supplies and perceptions. High initial cost she said,  is relevant especially to adoption by the low income groups where subsidization is not sustainable.

Some of the students attending

“Hire purchase schemes are relevant to easing the high initial cost. These have not been assessed before. Most studies focus on households. This study assesses the impact of Hire purchase schemes, Learning schemes, on adoption of LPG cookstoves by chapati vendors.”, Dr. Nanyiti said.

To achieve the objective Dr. Nanyiti said the study employed a  Randomised Control Trial  with chapati vendors in the capital Kampala in 3 divisions of Kampala, Constructed 3 clusters of parishes in each division and  implemented 3 treatment arms in each division (Treatment 1 information only, Treatment 2-information + hire purchase and Treatment 3-information + grace period learning+ hire-purchase)

Treatments were administered to individual owners at their chapati stalls. From each cluster; 100 chapatti vendors were randomly selected. 5 surveys;  Baseline, intervention, first follow-up, second follow-up and endline.  Intervention conducted at stall in teams of two and vendors  always carried the full kit of LPG cookstove to the stall.

“In Treatment  1 (Information) the research team offered  verbal information on the benefits of using LPG cookstoves and  offered  opportunity to buy the LPG cookstove by paying at once the full cost of UGX 210,000 ($60). This opportunity  lasted for two weeks where the vendors refilled gas cylinders themselves at a nearby refill station.

In Treatment 2(Hire purchase) the research team provided Verbal information on the benefits of using LPG cookstoves. Vendors were offered opportunity to buy the LPG cookstove on a hire-purchase in 3 instalments (70,000 @) or 4 instalments (50,000 @).  The vendors had opportunity to instead pay at once. The opportunity lasted for two weeks and vendors had to refill the cylinders by themselves at a nearby refill station”, Dr.Nanyiti explained.

In Treatment 3 (Learning) the team provided Verbal information on the benefits of using LPG cookstoves, offered opportunity to use the LPG cookstove for two weeks then decide to buy the LPG cookstove on a hire purchase basis or to pay at once.. The opportunity  lasted for two weeks and refill done by the vendors themselves at a nearby refill station. But on returning, vendors would pay 49000 for the gas used.

University management applauds Dr. Nanyiti

The study findings were disseminated during the  two in one event of the  EfD- Mak center  disseminating the outputs from the study funded through the EfD Network but also getting to launch and start the journey for other studies at centres’  conference room on 13th October 2022.

The event presided over by the Principal College of Business and Management Sciences  brought together members of staff and students from the School of Economics and Agricultural sciences and the EfD members.

Prof. Eria Hisali speaking during the event

The Principal Prof. Eria Hisali congratulated Dr. Aisha Nanyiti and the team upon delivering the research output calling for more involvement of other stakeholders during the dissemination activities.

“Dr. Nanyiti and your team, we congratulate you and thank you for delivering and for not disappointing the network. From the questions that were coming up, it clearly seems to be a very interesting study and with a lot of potential to contribute to policy.

Let us get closer involvement of the policy makers, implementers, and key actors from the private sector both in the course of our research but also in the dissemination activities. This is very important for purposes of uptake because you take care of their concerns, insights and that way the findings became immediately useful”, Hisali said.

A section of participants attending

Hisali also thanked the EfD Global hub for sponsoring the study and the participatory model used in the partnership.

“I thank colleagues from the EfD Global hub for the continued support and for the very healthy partnership. The EfD over the past few years is that kind of partner that does not stop at sending resources and waits for reports but these are colleagues who we are working with along  the way .Many of the activities we run, you take off time and participate and urged you keep at that.

Continue Reading

Agriculture & Environment

Gender Dynamics affect Uptake of Agricultural Technologies – Mak SECA Study

Published

on

Farmers from Nambaale Subcounty in Iganga take a group photo with researchers after the meeting at Vick Hotel.

A study conducted by Makerere University researchers in Iganga and Bugiri districts indicates that disparities still exist regarding access and sustained use of improved crop varieties among women and men. The men still dominate decision making power which negatively impacts on the sustained use and uptake of improved crop varieties in the two districts. Gender transformative approaches that consider the interest and needs of both men and women, are deemed fit for the design and implementation of interventions and ensure voices and aspirations of men and women are considered.

Between 2020–2022, researchers from Makerere University Department of Extension and Innovation Studies with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York under the Auspices of the Directorate of Graduate Research and Training programme of Supporting Early Career Academics through Post-Doctoral training at Makerere University (SECA) undertook a study titled, “Intra-household Gender Dynamics in Uptake of Agricultural Technologies for Sustained livelihoods in Uganda.”

Dr. Losira Nasirumbi presenting the study findings at Nakigo Sub-county.
Dr. Losira Nasirumbi presenting the study findings at Nakigo Sub-county.

The study was conducted in Nakigo and Nambaale sub-counties in Iganga and Buwunga and Nabukalu sub counties in Bugiri districts. The study areas were selected because of the intensity of interventions by government and non-state agencies in the area aimed at enhancing resilience of the farming systems and increasing agricultural productivity.

The   study,  aimed to unravel  the power dynamics at the household level that influence sustained use of new crop varieties for equitable and sustainable likelihoods in Uganda. The research therefore adopted a gender approach in examining decision making patterns, power relations and negotiation processes at household level and how these influence access to control over new technologies and ultimately sustained use. This was disclosed during the research dissemination workshops conducted on 6th and 7th October 2022 in the study areas that brought together district administrative and technical officers including, production, extension and agricultural officers, district chairpersons, senior production secretaries, farmers and farmer groups, civil society organisations and community-based organisations.

Dr. Florence Kyazze speaking to farmers at Buwunga Sub-county.
Dr. Florence Kyazze speaking to farmers at Buwunga Sub-county.

According to the Principal Investigator, Dr. Losira Nasirumbi Sanya, progress towards attaining food security remains a challenge partly due to low use of science and technological innovations developed over time. While sharing the study findings for validation, Dr. Losira explained that the overall objective of the research was to contribute towards promoting sustainable use of new agricultural technologies and innovations through better understanding of the gendered dynamics that enhance access and sustained use as a pathway to transformation of production systems and increasing productivity.

“The specific objectives were to describe the dissemination and use of agricultural technologies in selected districts of Eastern agro-ecological zone of Uganda; analyse the intra-household gender roles and relations in regard to technology access and sustained use within the institution of the household, and quantify the distribution of the decision-making power within dual adult households and how this influences technology uptake and empowerment among women,” she said.

Dr. Losira with a couple during the scoring game.
Dr. Losira with a couple during the scoring game.

She said data was collected from men and women using survey questionnaires, focus group discussions and in-depth farmer interviews. The findings indicated that farmers were involved in growing at least eight crops, two of the crops purposely for food security, one for cash and the rest for both food and cash. The crops include maize, cassava, beans, sweet potatoes, ground nuts, rice, soybeans, coffee and bananas among others.

The study revealed that in the past five years, men had more access to training on farming and improved seeds from government related experts and NGOs.The study also revealed that though women went to cluster project [ACDP] and accessed improved seed, only a few continued to use such varieties due to several factors.

Dr. Florence Kyazze (Mentor) and Dr. Losira Nasirumbi (PI) meeting farmers at Nakigo Sub-county.
Dr. Florence Kyazze (Mentor) and Dr. Losira Nasirumbi (PI) meeting farmers at Nakigo Sub-county.

The study also established that households had joint and individual plots for women and men.  Joint farms according to this research were preferred by men and women to promote harmony and reduce domestic violence, ease management, sharing resources and labour, timely planting and due to limited land.

Men, the study found, preferred their own plots to meet their diverse demands since some were polygamous, and wanted to fulfil family obligations. On the other hand, it was found that women preferred individual farms for financial independence, control over their income and the need to ensure food security.

When it came to access to farming resources such as land, fertilizers, herbicides and seeds, the study indicated that men had more access but women were mostly involved in providing farm labour for planting and weeding.

The representative of the Chairman LCV Iganga speaking.
The representative of the Chairman LCV Iganga speaking.

Findings on the intra-household decision making power indicated that 62% of women accorded themselves a high score of having more decision making power than what men scored them in relation to their input to decision dimensions related to asset ownership and use, productive decisions, use of labour (hired and family), marketing, financial  time allocation and access to trainings, extension and  group membership. However, 29% of the women gave themselves a lower score than their spouses scored them across the different decision dimensions. The study found perfect agreement in the scores assigned by men and women in only 9% of the households. “Decision making power is directly linked to one’s ability to make choice and action on that choice,” said the PI. “A mismatch between actual and perceived empowerment in decision making signals opportunities for creating awareness among farming communities if we are to achieve the intended goal of equitable access and outcomes.”

The study revealed that the disparities in decision making power affected the use of improved technologies and productivity.

“Women with high decision making power (empowered) were more likely able to sustain use of improved varieties than those with lower scores.Those with low decision making power were highly associated with low use of improved varieties. Those with the ability to make decisions and even when closer to extension services were able to grow more improved varieties though high decision making power was negatively associated with the number of improved varieties grown. This illuminates the fact that women’s empowerment in decision making has potential to contribute to closing the gender gap in sustained use thus the need to be more intentional about women’s participation, decision making and agency in development interventions if we are to achieve greater impact in sustained use of agricultural technologies towards better livelihoods,” Dr. Losira explained.

District Agricultural Officer Iganga Bazalaki Sully making his remarks.
District Agricultural Officer Iganga Bazalaki Sully making his remarks.

During the dissemination workshop, the District Agricultural Officer, Iganga, Mr. Bazalaki Sully Nantatya said, the research has been of great value and has unearthed the dynamics in the communities in regard to gender relations, decision making and uptake of technologies.

He reported that technology uptake in Iganga district has been good because of the capacity building initiative undertaken by a number of partners and projects both through government and non-state actors.

“This research has revealed that adoption of improved technologies has been embraced which has led to increased yields and farmers are very appreciative. Since the start of this research, we have observed that gender relations have improved among participating households when it comes to working in gardens and decision making and that now a wife and husband have come closer and jointly taking lead in implementing farming activities right from planting to marketing. This has been made possible by the approach adopted in this research of having both spouses involved in all activities. Farmers are also realising the use of improved technologies which they feel must be sustained. As a district, we are thinking of enhancing input delivery system to sustain the new interventions and all these have been revealed during the dissemination workshop which has pointed out where things are working out well and not,” he said

Dr. Florence Kyazze (Left) interacting with farmers during the meeting at Nambaale Sub-county.
Dr. Florence Kyazze (Left) interacting with farmers during the meeting at Nambaale Sub-county.

The Agricultural Officer, Nambaale Sub County, Gwahaba Richard said farmers easily take up new technologies especially to increase yields but hardly sustain their use.

“We need to wake up as extension officers and district partners and concentrate on gender issues so that men, women and children at the household level embrace these technologies and work together to sustain them,” he said.

Representing the District Chairperson Iganga, the Vice Chairperson, Ali Mukacha appreciated Makerere University for choosing Iganga as a site for the research saying, the study was in line with the government strategy of modernising agriculture and improving farmers’ livelihoods from a peasantry to middle income earners by the year 2030.

He said Nambaale Sub County has been one of the model sub-counties in the district that has participated in many interventions. He pledged the district support towards any research program in the area.

Farmers from Buwunga Sub-County and researchers take a group photo after the meeting.
Farmers from Buwunga Sub-County and researchers take a group photo after the meeting.

Rebecca Naigaga, a farmer from Iganga districts appreciated the research.

I have learnt a lot that a husband and wife need to sit together during the planting season and agree on how to rent land, its size, what crops to plant. Then during harvest, we need to agree on what amount to sell and leave for food and what to sell for fees. The other, I have learnt is that, men have more access to land but as women we can also hire,” she noted.

Elias Mutyaba from Nambaale Agro business appreciated the study for changing his mindset and called upon farmers to adopt modern farming practices.

This time I have changed my attitude. I was so piteous of myself that I was unemployed but with this workshop, I have learnt that farming is also a business where I can earn money. I call upon my fellow farmers to embrace new varieties and use of fertilisers to improve the yields,” he said.

Continue Reading

Agriculture & Environment

Mak Flags off 50 Students for Agrostudies Internship in Israel

Published

on

The Principal, College of Agricultural and Enviromental Sciences (CAES), Prof. Gorretie Nabanoga (Left) flags off the student interns on 21st September 2021, Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University.

The Government of Uganda currently holds bilateral cooperation with Israel, encompassing: agriculture, post harvest technologies, animal husbandry, water management, health and on land security. The cordial relationship resulted into the Israel Agrostudies Apprenticeship Programme, which has incredibly benefited many Ugandan students since 2013. The programme started in 2013 but was institutionalized in 2021. The Agrostudies Institute in Israel, which is the international centre for agricultural interns, coordinates the programme. The Agrostudies opportunity comes with a lot of practical agricultural skills training and international cultural exposure.

Agrostudies Students
Agrostudies Students

Makerere University in September flagged off 50 male students to Israel for a one-year paid internship. Ten (10) of these were from Busitema University while 40 were from Makerere. The students were flagged off by the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. Banarbas Nawangwe, who was represented by the Principal, College of Agricultural and Enviromental Sciences (CAES), Prof. Gorretie Nabanoga, on 21st September 2021 at an event held in the Council Room at the Frank Kalimuzo Teaching Facility), Makerere University.

Prof. Gorretie Nabanoga, Principal, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES).
Prof. Gorretie Nabanoga, Principal, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES).

The event was attended by the Dean, School of Agricultural Sciences (SAS), Dr. John Baptist Tumuhairwe; the Head Department of Agricultural Production, Dr Mildred Ochwo Semakula; as well as alumni and coordinators of the Agrostudies Apprenticeship Programme at Makerere University.

CAES Managers meeting students.
CAES Managers meeting students.

In his remarks, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Banarbas Nawangwe urged students to be hardworking, resilient and committed to the training. “You need to go with an open mindset. Have an inquisitive mind and use this as an opportunity to acquire a variety of skills. Your main focus should be skills acquisition rather than money making. Do not let money be the driving force. Have it in mind that you are ambassadors of Makerere University,” he said. “As you make individual choices, know that you are in it alone. Do not be influenced by others. In case of challenges that cannot be addressed by those around you, always get back to us.” Prof. Nawangwe advised the students to share their skills as a way of showcasing their seven (7) months training.

The Principal, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Prof. Gorretie Nabanoga applauded the coordinators of the programme and the Dean SAS for equipping students with the necessary skills. She further appreciated the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Nawangwe for the support accorded to the programme.

Dr. John Baptist Tumuhairwe, Dean School of Agricultural Sciences, cautioned students against indiscipline. “While out there, you need to be mindful of your actions. Do not spoil the future for other. We shall lobby for an increase in number from fifty (50) to more depending on your progress,” he said.

Dr. John Baptist Tumuhairwe, Dean School of Agricultural Sciences, CAES.
Dr. John Baptist Tumuhairwe, Dean School of Agricultural Sciences, CAES.

Dr. Tumuhairwe further urged students to make good use of the opportunity to develop skills for future employment.

In his remarks, Mr. Narisi Mubangizi, Lecturer in the Department of Extension and Innovation Studies, also part of the coordination team, cautioned the interns against diversion and tarnishing the country’s image. “Remember how far you have moved on your course and focus to successfully complete. The future of this programme lies in your hands. Any mistake you make will deter progress of the programme.”

Dr. Narisi Mubangizi, Lecturer in the Department of Extension and Innovation Studies.
Dr. Narisi Mubangizi, Lecturer in the Department of Extension and Innovation Studies.

According to Mr. Moris Bua, a former beneficiary, the Agrostudies Programme is a life changing initiative. “You must have goals in your life. You must see the future. Use the opportunity to map out your future.

Mr. Moris Bua, a former beneficiary the Agrostudies Programme.
Mr. Moris Bua, a former beneficiary the Agrostudies Programme.

Mr. Deric Niwasasira, a student and Team Leader Agrostudies Apprenticeship Programme, Cohort 2022/2023, urged the interns not to lose focus on the major objectives of the programme. “The next journey requires endurance and focus. Let us not disappoint our country and our college.”

Mr. Deric Niwasasira, a student and Team Leader Agrostudies Apprenticeship Programme, Cohort 2022/2023.
Mr. Deric Niwasasira, a student and Team Leader Agrostudies Apprenticeship Programme, Cohort 2022/2023.

Continue Reading

Trending