On 4th August 2023, Makerere University School of Food Technology, Nutrition, and Bioengineering held a graduation ceremony for the 2nd cohort of trainees under the project; “Empowerment of the Agro-Processing Industry to meet the Quantity and Quality Standards for the Local and Export Market; a Programme for Enhancing the Practical Skills of Students in Makerere University”. The multi-year project is being funded by the Government of Uganda through Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF). In the second cohort, the project trained 20 agro-processors and 31 students. 40 agro-processors and 35 students were trained in the first cohort.
Objectives of the project
- To train processors on how to develop processes ensuring standards leading to certification
- To train processors on how to develop processes to meet market demands
- To optimize product quality for 20 Agro-processing MSME’s
- To develop and operationalize interventions for required processing protocols
- Train students to train Agro-processors in the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs)
- To enhance students’ skills in critical thinking, problem solving, leadership, business, teamwork, creativity and communication
Presentation by the Project PI
During the ceremony, the Project PI, also Dean, School of Food Technology, Nutrition, and Bioengineering, Dr. Julia Kigozi presented an overview of the project, highlighting the activities and achievements registered. She commended the graduands for their commitment and implored them to use the skills acquired to support the implementation of the objectives of the project.
Impact of the project
This second phase of the project had 31 students/research assistants from five different Degree programmes including; BSc. Agricultural Engineering, BSc. Food Science and Technology, BSc. Human Nutrition, BSc. Water and Irrigation Engineering, and BSc. Bioprocessing Engineering. The students were trained in different modules in February 2023 which included Operations in the Agro-processing Industry, Product Optimization, Application of GMPs and Hygienic Processing, Quality Control and Waste Management, Infrastructure development to meet quality and capacity, Marketing Strategy, Leadership and Tax Literacy. They were then sent to the field to visit the project Agro-processors to conduct trainings in agro-processing, gaps identification at the facilities, design of interventions (application and mentoring) as well as monitoring and evaluation. This introduced students to different forms of learning like experiential learning (learning by doing), Project-based learning (involves students designing, developing, and constructing hands-on solutions to a problem) and problem-based learning (student-centered approach in which students learn about a subject by working in groups to solve an open-ended problem).
A few students namely Kabuye Desire, Nambaziira Juliet and Nakikoola Berna presented their experiences and lessons learnt, basing on Experiential, Project-based and Problem-based learning from the facilities they visited and the EAPI project at large. Students’ responsibilities in the project included a baseline survey of the different Agro-processing facilities to find out whether they meet the UNBS standards of processing. With the gaps identified, they developed interventions and workplans for the processors which were communicated on their follow-up visits. Other students and lecturers were addressed to a panel of questions on how the Empowerment of the Agro-Processing Industry (EAPI) project has influenced those three different modes of learning.
Remarks by the Principal CAES
In her remarks, the Principal CAES, Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga appreciated the project PI, Dr. Julia Kigozi for the tremendous work she is doing for the School. She commended the project team for their efforts in transforming the teaching and learning experience of the lecturers and students respectively. She appealed to the project team to include a module of mindset change and to expand the training to cover the whole of CAES.
Remarks by the DVCAA
In his remarks delivered by the Principal, CAES, Prof. Umar Kakumba, Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs (DVCAA) appreciated the project team for the commendable work they were doing to improve the agro-processing industry in the country. “This kind of training is timely. If we are to send out marketable graduates, we need to transform the way we teach in order to enhance the practical skills of our students,” he noted.
Certificate awarding ceremony
Each of the trainees was awarded a certificate of attendance in recognition of their participation in the programme.
FAO Trains CAES Faculty on Integrated Food Security Phase Classification for Acute Malnutrition (IPC-AMN)
The primary objective of this training initiative is to promote knowledge exchange and learning about innovative systems, methods, tools, and best practices in nutrition surveillance.
The School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-systems Engineering (SFTNB), College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Makerere University has held a four-day training for its staff and students on Integrated Food Security Phase Classification for Acute Malnutrition (IPC-AMN). The training held from 26th-29th February 2024 has been conducted at the School premises at the University.
The training initiative emerged from the collaborative efforts of the “Learning Network on Nutrition Surveillance.” The implementation of this initiative is led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). This network, fostering connections between policymakers, research institutions, and universities, spans across the countries of Djibouti, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, Somalia, and Uganda.
The primary objective of this initiative is to promote knowledge exchange and learning about innovative systems, methods, tools, and best practices in nutrition surveillance. The initiative fosters knowledge exchange on innovative systems, methods, tools, and practices in nutrition surveillance, with a special emphasis on the East, Central, and Southern Africa region, and the Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) for Food Security and Nutrition stands as a crucial element within this network.
One of the key contributors to this training initiative is the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), leveraging its two decades of experience. FAO has meticulously designed face-to-face training sessions for professionals in food security and nutrition. Furthermore, they have developed a comprehensive curriculum for graduate and post-graduate students focusing on the IPC for Acute Malnutrition scale (AMN).
This AMN course is crafted to equip graduates with the essential skills for IPC, but also serve as a pathway for IPC certification, enhancing their professional credentials as they embark on their careers. Notably, a similar curriculum addressing acute food insecurity has been successfully implemented at the University of Pretoria, and has worked successfully.
As a significant stride towards expanding the reach of this valuable curriculum, FAO has played a pivotal role in training the academic staff at Makerere University (Department of Food Technology and Nutrition) on both the structure and content of the AMN course curriculum. This strategic partnership aims to facilitate the eventual incorporation of this curriculum into the institution’s offerings.
Facilitating this training was Dr Jannie Armstrong, Integrated Phase Classification’s Learning and Research Coordinator. Dr Armstrong brings a wealth of experience to the table, overseeing the academic liaison portfolio and ensuring that IPC remains informed of developments in food security and nutrition research globally. His commitment is evident through co-developing IPC training materials and contributing as a member of the Technical Development Team.
Over the past 25 years, Dr Armstrong has contributed significantly to food security policy across Asia, Africa, and Europe, working with esteemed organizations such as FAO, WFP, and others. His enduring research interest in food security policy in the Global South reflects his dedication to making a positive impact in this field.
“As educators, we recognize the paramount importance of preparing our students for the evolving workforce, and FAO’s initiative is a testament of our commitment to continuous improvement in teaching and learning, aligning perfectly with our objectives. We express our sincere appreciation for this collaborative effort and are confident that together, we shall rise to meet the evolving needs of our stakeholders both within and outside Uganda,” remarked Dr Hedwig Acham, Senior Lecturer, Department of Food Technology & Nutrition, Makerere University.
More photos from the event.
Dr. Robert Fungo Elected President, Federation of African Nutrition Societies (FANUS)
Dr. Robert Fungo was in November 2023 elected President of the Federation of African Nutrition Societies (FANUS).
Dr. Fungo is a Lecturer at the Department of Food Technology and Nutrition, School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-Engineering, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Makerere University. His Teaching, Research and Community Outreach is in the Field of Applied Human Nutrition, Food Science and Food Technology. As a Nutritionist and Food Technologist, he is interested in understanding the influence of agriculture and food systems on the nutrition and food security of women and children in low and middle-income African countries (LMIACs).
The Federation of African Nutrition Societies (FANUS) is a conglomeration of nutrition societies of the African nation with the vision to market and sustain nutrition security and national altogether country of Africa. The vision of the Federation is to enhance the visibility, relevance and functionality of FANUS and national nutrition societies, con-jointly to strengthen the functioning and property of national nutrition societies to realize goals, unite and influence nutrition in Africa.
Details about Dr. Robert Fungo please click on the link below:
Call for Papers – Makerere University Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (MUJAES)
The Editorial Board, Makerere University Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (MUJAES), College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) is receiving manuscripts for consideration for Volume 13, Issue 1 2024 that will come out in June 2024 and Issue 2 slated for December 2024. Manuscripts should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. For details on MUJAES and guidelines for submission of manuscripts, visit: https://mujaes.mak.ac.ug/. Manuscripts to be considered for publication in MUJAES should be based on original research findings.
For any inquiries, contact; Dr Jeninah Karungi-Tumutegyereize, Editor, MUJAES. Email – email@example.com.
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