Principal’s 6th Quarterly Report - July to September, 2015
This is the Principal’s 6th quarterly report presenting major activities and achievements in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Science (CAES) covering the period July-September 2015. The report outlines innovations in teaching, resource mobilization and collaborative efforts. You will also find sections on knowledge sharing and transfer to society, human resource and capacity building.
Several workshops, seminars, exhibitions and conferences involving several stakeholders wer successfully held. At the international scene our staffattended the Deans and Principals meeting of RUFORUM member Universities. The meeting was hosted by the University of Gezira and Kordofan University at Rotana Hotel in Khartoum during which, the RUFORUM Strategic Business Plan 2015-2020 was drafted.
The college participated in the Source of the Nile Agriculture Show and Trade Fair. The show is a national event during which research institutions, seed companies, agribusiness firms and other businesses come together to showcase their latest innovations and technologies. This year was 23rd Source of the Nile National Agricultural Show and Trade Fair which took place from 6th – 13th July, 2015. The theme for this year’s exhibition was: “climate smart agriculture for sustainable food security and wealth creation”.
We successfully conducted all undergraduate and post graduate courses with increased emphasis on training in practical skills to meet the clientele demands. Our students have on average excelled in their studies. Notably, the college continued to attract several international students in all units. The M.Sc. in Plant Breeding and Seed Systems / PhD Plant Breeding and Biotechnology has done exceptionally well and was able to host 80 students from across Africa and conducted new courses in Quantitative Genetics and Advanced Statistical Plant Breeding by extension.
Through the CAES, the university was recognized and awarded trophies regionally and internationally. In the year 2015, Makerere University got the “Best Performance Award” in the Regional Collaborative Masters Program (MSc. Agricultural and Applied Economics) Makerere’s student; Ms. Asha Nalunga was the overall best student in her cohort. Out of the 16 participating Universities, Makerere University emerged the Best performing University based on how our students performed.
A consortium for Enhancing University Responsiveness to Agribusiness Development (CURAD) was voted as Number one incubator in Africa in terms of implementation and impact among the six competing incubators from Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, Mali and Ghana. CURAD is an agribusiness incubator promoted by CAES, NARO and NUCAFFE. It is hosted by CAES. CURAD promotes entrepreneurship by students and graduates of Makerere University in business incubation especially those working with agribusiness or farming. It is supporting 64 entrepreneurs and has created over 1400 jobs that contributed to its Award winning.
We also managed to send the 3rd cohort of our undergraduate students to Israel for the 11 months paid internship. The students were flagged off to Israel by H.E the President of Uganda represented by his Vice, Hon. Edward Ssekandi at Lugogo Indoor Stadium.
The college continued to excel in research and grant acquisition and has maintained a record in publishing. The college received a DFID Grant of four (4) million USD towards Building resilience and adaptation to climate extremes and disasters in the Department of Geography, Geo informatics and Climatic Sciences. Another USAID Grant of USD three (3) million to strengthen training, research and outreach activities was received in the Department of Agribusiness and Natural Resource Economics.
Memorable landmarks include significant strides in the infrastructure development. Using projects overheads, we procured a generator worth over shs.200, 000 million to address the problem of power cuts. This generator serves the School of Agricultural Sciences and the School of Forestry, Environmental and Geographical Sciences. I thank the college management for the support accorded during this bold decision and the Principal Investigators for their egalitarian contributions.
An e- learning centre fully furnished with equipment worth 42, 000 Euros was opened at the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio engineering. The overall objective is to create and strengthen capacity of target institutions by improving access to quality and affordable higher education in the area of Food and Nutrition Security through internet based learning.
Under the KOYOKA project, CAES acquired modern state-of-the-art equipment worth 8,160 Euros installed at the Department of Extension and Innovations Studies. The equipment includes a professional video camera and all its accessories, two MAC computers and TV monitors to be used in the production of multimedia e - learning materials. University staff was also trained in the production of multimedia supported e-learning materials using the PhD field-based module in Agricultural and Rural Innovation (ARI).
CAES also opened the Research Grants Office to assist staff in securing resources to support cutting edge research, innovation and outreach to the community. This is the third pilot Grants office in Makerere University following that in the College of Health Sciences and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
I would like to thank all members of staff and college leadership for the trust and support towards the realisation of all the achievements in this quarter as We build for the Future.
PROF. BERNARD BASHAASHA