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Agriculture & Environment

CAES Management Deliberates Strategies for Repositioning the Graduate Research Agenda

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****At the CAES Management Retreat held on 10th-12th January 2024, participants took stock of the current state and landscape of graduate research at the College, and discussed strategies for refocusing the research and innovation agenda to address the national development challenges.

The Principal of CAES welcomes participants. Makerere University CAES Management Retreat, Kalanoga Resort, Kampala, Uganda, East Africa.
The Principal of CAES welcomes participants.

Overview – CAES Pact for Transformational Change

In 2022, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) developed a Pact for Transformational Change with the aim of improving operations under the three core functions of Makerere University namely; teaching and learning, research and innovation, and knowledge transfer partnerships. Unveiled at the College General Assembly held on 9th August 2022, the main aim of the Pact is to transform CAES into a College with effective and efficient management systems, adequate supportive infrastructure, and highly motivated staff to productively engage with stakeholders to produce skilled, entrepreneurial, innovative and work-oriented graduates, able to innovatively respond to the challenges, needs and aspirations in the Agricultural and Environmental sectors.

The Deputy Principal of CAES, Prof. Yazidhi Bamutaze sharing an overview of research issues at CAES. Makerere University CAES Management Retreat, Kalanoga Resort, Kampala, Uganda, East Africa.
The Deputy Principal of CAES, Prof. Yazidhi Bamutaze sharing an overview of research issues at CAES.

Prioritized actions to achieve the desired transformation in teaching and learning included; improving the quality of teaching and promoting practical-based training, improving completion rates of graduate students, staff motivation to effectively perform their teaching mandate, revamping infrastructure for teaching and learning, and improving staff and students support services. The College also set out to strengthen the research and innovation arm through the creation of multi and interdisciplinary research teams, operationalization of the college research and grants office and the Research and Ethics Committee, promotion of partnerships with MDAs and the private sector, and improvement of supervision and examination of graduate research. Under knowledge transfer partnerships, the College planned to improve dissemination of research and innovations, strengthen college-industry partnerships; and to establish innovation and incubation centres. Through this, the College aspires to increase graduate enrolment by 30%, to improve graduate completion rates by 70%, and to contribute to the realization of the 2020-2030 Strategic Goal 1 which aims to transform Makerere into a research-led University.

The Vice Chancellor addressing participants at the CAES Graduate Research Retreat. Kalanoga Resort, Kampala, Uganda, East Africa.
The Vice Chancellor addressing participants at the CAES Graduate Research Retreat.

CAES Management Retreat

In 2023, the CAES Management held a retreat to further discuss and plan how to operationalize the Pact. As a follow up, the College Management on 10th-12th January 2024, held a retreat to take stock of the current state and landscape of graduate research at CAES and to strategize on ways of repositioning and developing the CAES research agenda and priorities. Convened by the Principal of CAES, Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga at Kalanoga Resort in Kampala, the retreat was graced by the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe; the Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT) at Makerere University, Prof. Edward Bbaale; the Executive Secretary of RUFORM, Prof. Patrick Okori; programme coordinators at CAES; and representatives from partner organizations including the National Planning Authority (NPA), National Forestry Authority (NFA), National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO), National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), and the Ministry of Water and Environment.

Participants keenly following the proceedings of the workshop. Makerere University CAES Management Retreat, Kalanoga Resort, Kampala, Uganda, East Africa.
Participants keenly following the proceedings of the workshop.

Highlights of issues discussed in line with the CAES Research Agenda

During the retreat, the Principal of CAES, Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga presented the College Pact for Transformational Change, highlighting priority areas and the aspirations. The Deputy Principal of CAES, also coordinator of academic programmes, Prof. Yazidhi Bamutaze, shared an overview of research issues at the College, emphasizing the need to anchor research in a specific agenda, hinged on clear priorities to contribute to the national and global development agenda. “There is need to transition to programmatic research and to co-create a Research Agenda with actors in both the public and private sectors. Research should also be focussed in priority geographic areas, and implemented in a transdiciplinary manner,” he noted. As one of the measures to improve graduate completion rates, the Deputy Principal pointed to the need to adopt the cohort model of PhD training.

Representatives from partner institutions expressing commitment to work with CAES after a panel discussion on NDP IV and the knowledge needs for Agenda 2030. Kalanoga Resort, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Representatives from partner institutions expressing commitment to work with CAES after a panel discussion on NDP IV and the knowledge needs for Agenda 2030.

At the meeting, Prof. Rhoda Wanyenze, Dean, School of Public Health presented the graduate research landscape at Makerere University, whereas Prof. Edward Bbaale, Director DRGT discussed opportunities for impactful research by students and staff. In his remarks, Prof Bbaale commended the CAES leadership for their proactive initiatives towards advancing the research-led and innovation-intensive agenda of Makerere University. “The CAES Graduate Review workshop aimed at aligning graduate research to tackle community and policy-based challenges is a commendable endeavour. Similarly, the launch and operationalization of the CAES-GRADCARE System aimed at improving efficiency of graduate management processes stands out as a remarkable achievement,” he noted. Other issues discussed at the retreat included the status of research in the three schools of CAES, research issues and needs in MDAs and organizations of relevancy to national development, the NDP IV and knowledge needs for Agenda 2030, transitioning from project to programmatic approach of graduate research, CAES research priorities, funding and financing CAES graduate research, infrastructure, tools and instruments for graduate research and processes, and structures and timelines for graduate research.

The Director DRGT, Prof. Edward Bbaale shared insights into opportunities for impactful research by staff and students. Makerere University CAES Management Retreat, Kalanoga Resort, Kampala, Uganda, East Africa.
The Director DRGT, Prof. Edward Bbaale shared insights into opportunities for impactful research by staff and students.

The meeting also featured a panel discussion during which representatives from partner institutions namely; NPA, NEMA NFA, NARO, RUFORUM and the Ministry of Water and Environment shared insights into the NDP IV and the research areas that the College can focus on to support the national development agenda. Key research areas pointed out included agro-industrialization, food systems, and natural resources. The discussants drew attention to the need to invest in soil and water resources, crop protection, agronomy, and mechanization. The Executive Secretary of RUFORUM, Prof. Patrick Okori emphasized the need to rethink how Makerere can train for Africa, not only Uganda. “This can be achieved by strengthening the internationalization agenda around research and graduate training,” he advised.

The Executive Secretary of RUFORUM, Prof. Patrick Okori committed to support CAES in its research development and fundraising initiatives. Makerere University CAES Management Retreat, Kalanoga Resort, Kampala, Uganda, East Africa.
The Executive Secretary of RUFORUM, Prof. Patrick Okori committed to support CAES in its research development and fundraising initiatives.

Remarks by the VC

Addressing participants, the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe applauded the CAES for the significant research output, and the different initiatives by the College leadership aimed a contributing to the strategic goal of transforming Makerere into a research-led University. Emphasizing the contribution of agriculture towards the development of nation states, the Vice Chancellor implored CAES and all stakeholders in the Agricultural sector to re-strategize and work towards making Agriculture the lead in the transformation of Uganda’s economy. “Korea was at the same level with Uganda in the 1960s but has used Agriculture to transform its economy, yet it has only 30% arable land. It now exports food to the whole world and is one of the biggest economies. We should borrow a leaf and use agriculture to transform our country.” The Vice Chancellor also emphasized the need to invest in the knowledge economy by training more PhDs. “Economic success is no longer determined by possession (e.g raw materials or physical prowess) but by the capacity to generate knowledge and the ability of the workforce to apply this knowledge successfully. We need to work on increasing the number of PhDs.”

Mr. Eddie Ivan Kaweela conducted a training session on soft skills. Makerere University CAES Management Retreat, Kalanoga Resort, Kampala, Uganda, East Africa.
Mr. Eddie Ivan Kaweela conducted a training session on soft skills.

The retreat featured a training on soft skills conducted by Mr. Eddie Ivan Kaweela, a corporate growth coach and Business Manager at Solutions Africa.

Participants in a practical session during the soft skills training session. Makerere University CAES Management Retreat, Kalanoga Resort, Kampala, Uganda, East Africa.
Participants in a practical session during the soft skills training session.

Participants in a practical session on soft skills. Makerere University CAES Management Retreat, Kalanoga Resort, Kampala, Uganda, East Africa.
Participants in a practical session on soft skills.

Agriculture & Environment

FAO Trains CAES Faculty on Integrated Food Security Phase Classification for Acute Malnutrition (IPC-AMN)

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The Head, Department of Food Technology and Nutrition at CAES, Dr Ivan Mukisa Muzira and Dr Hedwig Acham briefing participants about the training programme. Training by FAO of staff and students on Integrated Food Security Phase Classification for Acute Malnutrition (IPC-AMN), School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-systems Engineering (SFTNB), College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

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 training

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 Dean SFTNB, Dr Julia Kigozi delivering her remarks on the training programme. Training by FAO of staff and students on Integrated Food Security Phase Classification for Acute Malnutrition (IPC-AMN), School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-systems Engineering (SFTNB), College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
The Dean SFTNB, Dr Julia Kigozi delivering her remarks on the training programme.

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.

Dr Julia Kigozi addressing participants on the importance of the programme. Training by FAO of staff and students on Integrated Food Security Phase Classification for Acute Malnutrition (IPC-AMN), School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-systems Engineering (SFTNB), College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Dr Julia Kigozi addressing participants on the importance of the programme.

FAO’s contribution

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.

Dr Jannie Armstrong, Integrated Phase Classification's Learning and Research Coordinator during the training. Training by FAO of staff and students on Integrated Food Security Phase Classification for Acute Malnutrition (IPC-AMN), School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-systems Engineering (SFTNB), College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Dr Jannie Armstrong, Integrated Phase Classification’s Learning and Research Coordinator during the training.

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.

Some of the staff and students that participated in the training. Training by FAO of staff and students on Integrated Food Security Phase Classification for Acute Malnutrition (IPC-AMN), School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-systems Engineering (SFTNB), College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Some of the staff and students that participated in the training.

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.

Appreciation

“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 Jannie Armstrong training participants on Integrated Food Security Phase Classification for Acute Malnutrition (IPC-AMN). Training by FAO of staff and students on Integrated Food Security Phase Classification for Acute Malnutrition (IPC-AMN), School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-systems Engineering (SFTNB), College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Dr Jannie Armstrong training participants on Integrated Food Security Phase Classification for Acute Malnutrition (IPC-AMN).
Dr Ivan Mukisa Muzira and another member of staff at the training. Training by FAO of staff and students on Integrated Food Security Phase Classification for Acute Malnutrition (IPC-AMN), School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-systems Engineering (SFTNB), College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Dr Ivan Mukisa Muzira and another member of staff at the training.
Dr Hedwig Acham (Front L), Dr Robert Fungo (at the back) and another member of staff at the training. Training by FAO of staff and students on Integrated Food Security Phase Classification for Acute Malnutrition (IPC-AMN), School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-systems Engineering (SFTNB), College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Dr Hedwig Acham (Front L), Dr Robert Fungo (at the back) and another member of staff at the training.
Dr Agnes Nabubuya, a Lecturer in the Department of Food Technology and Nutrition during the training. Training by FAO of staff and students on Integrated Food Security Phase Classification for Acute Malnutrition (IPC-AMN), School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-systems Engineering (SFTNB), College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Dr Agnes Nabubuya, a Lecturer in the Department of Food Technology and Nutrition during the training.
Dr Jannie Armstrong, Integrated Phase Classification's Learning and Research Coordinator conducted the training. Training by FAO of staff and students on Integrated Food Security Phase Classification for Acute Malnutrition (IPC-AMN), School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-systems Engineering (SFTNB), College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Dr Jannie Armstrong, Integrated Phase Classification’s Learning and Research Coordinator conducted the training.
Dr Hedwig Acham and Dr Robert Fungo at the training. Training by FAO of staff and students on Integrated Food Security Phase Classification for Acute Malnutrition (IPC-AMN), School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-systems Engineering (SFTNB), College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Dr Hedwig Acham and Dr Robert Fungo at the training.

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Agriculture & Environment

Dr. Robert Fungo Elected President, Federation of African Nutrition Societies (FANUS)

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Dr. Robert Fungo, Lecturer-Department of Food Technology and Human Nutrition, CAES, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

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).

About FANUS

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:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-fungo-phd-2a245956/

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Agriculture & Environment

Call for Papers – Makerere University Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (MUJAES)

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The walkway to the School of Agricultural Sciences, CAES, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda as seen on 4th February 2009. East Africa

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 mujaes.caes@mak.ac.ug. 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 – jtumutegyereize@gmail.com.

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