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Makerere Launches an Agricultural Appropriate Technology Research Center (ATR) and a Solar powered drying Machine worth $ 100,000 USD at Kabanyolo

Makerere University with support from the Korean Intellectual Property Office (“KIPO”), the Korea Invention Promotion Association (KIPA) Chonbuk National University and Dooypork Inc. has launched an Agricultural Appropriate Technology Research Center (ATR). 

The university has also acquired a new crop drying machine controlled by solar system that is efficient and appropriate for Ugandan conditionsworth $ 100,000 USD.

The centre and new machine were launched in the afternoon of 22nd November, 2017 at the Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo (MUARIK) under College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES)

The ceremony was presided over by Makerere University Vice Chancellor represented by Principal CEDAT Prof. Henry Alinaitwe. Other dignitaries present were H.E theAmbassador of Korea , Park Jong Dae, Director KIPO, Lim Hyun Suk, Director KIPA Kang Chel Hwan, Ag. Director Agriculture Extension Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries, Mrs. Beatrice Byarugaba, Korea experts and the Principal CAES, Prof. Bernard Bashaasha.

The new solar dryer constructed by plastic vynil, steel pipes, solar panels and control units comes with advantages over the traditional sun drying of cereals.

Unlike the traditional sun dying method, a farmer can put the right conditions by controlling the temperature and humidity of crops for proper drying.

The facility also limits chances of feed contamination and large quantities of grain can be dried.

The solar dryer will be utilised to dry animal feeds mainly cereals like maize and soybeans. Besides this solar drier, the project objectives also entail carrying out Technology Transfer for the design, construction, installation and maintenance of the dryer in Uganda.

Launching the Machine and the Centre, on behalf of Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Prof. Alinaitwe thanked the people of Korea for choosing Makerere as a collaborative associate.

“Makerere University and the Korea Invention Promotion Association (KIPA) have entered into a partnership agreement to set up the Appropriate Technology Research (ATR) Centre hosted at the MUARIK under the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

The Korean Intellectual Property Office (“KIPO”) and The Uganda Registration Service Bureau (“URSB”) have cooperated closely in the area of Intellectual Property and in order to successfully execute the IP Sharing project, KIPO has designated the Korea Invention Promotion Association (KIPA)) to manage this project” He said.

The Vice Chancellor observed that although most of the countries in the sub Saharan Africa Uganda inclusive largely depend on agriculture for livelihoods, the agricultural sector is faced by many challenges including climate change, declining soil productivity, ever increasing population and post harvest losses.

He reported that Postharvest losses in Uganda are estimated to be at 10 -50% with grains registering losses of up to 70% while fruits and perishables go up to 100% due to lack of cold storage chain. Therefore, if Postharvest losses are ignored, we cannot achieve the 6% growth in agriculture as stipulated by CAADP (NEPAD).

“You are all aware that Sun drying is the oldest preservation technique of agricultural products and it is an energy intensive process. There is increased emphasis on the need to use alternative renewable energy resources such as solar energy which is rapidly gaining acceptance as an energy saving measure in agriculture application because it is abundant, inexhaustible and non-polluting”, He said.

The Vice Chancellor noted that with the rapid changes in existing technology and daily advent of new ones, Makerere University graduates and the farming community are more than ever in need of empowerment to help them think more of what they can do to create rather than seek for opportunities.

The Professor described knowledge and technology as essential in inducing a sustainable economic growth, strengthening market efficiency, and promoting job creation, as well as permitting self-reliant development through fighting poverty.

The Vice Chancellor commended Koreans for helping the people of Uganda in many fronts including construction of the fruit factory, mindset change program which are pertinent to Ugnada’s development program.

The VC also hailed Koreans for coming up with simple, accessible, affordable and environmentally friendly technologies that solves societal needs.

“It is on this note that I am even more delighted that Makerere, KIPO and KIPA have come up with a strategy that can help overcome the aforementioned dilemma. Appropriate Technology is an efficient and cost-effective solution that developing countries can use to liberate themselves from lower standards of living, low wages and poverty.

I therefore thank the Korean Intellectual Property Office and partnering institutions for not only spearheading but also offering continued unconditional support to this initiative. This is in line with the Government agenda of promoting enterprise growth and job creation especially for the youth through support to innovation by building a critical mass of highly skilled, Science and Technology professionals to enhance Uganda's agriculture”. He stated.

The Vice Chancellor was optimistic that, in addition to the core interest of developing the best method of drying crops and eventually improve quality and quantity of animal feeds, the Makerere ATR Centre will also provide skills trainings, business incubation and workspaces provision.

He added that center will also provide linkage to farmers, investors, customers, peer firms and specialized innovation organizations locally and/or internationally. This he said, will in the long term save us a lot of cost arising from post harvest loses and associated risks and Make Makerere a one-stop center for locally-founded solutions for government and industry problems.

The Head Appropriate Technology Sharing project at Korean Intellectual Property Office (“KIPO”) AT Chonbuk University Lim Hyun Suk thanked the Uganda Government, Makerere University and all patners for the success project implementation.

He said the IP Sharing projects spearheaded by KIPO and KIPA utilises intellectual property and patent information to develop technologies and brands appropriate to the local environment to improve livelihoods.

“ I believe this IP Sharing Project that we conducted at Makerere University is of particular significance. The opening of Makerere University Agricultural Approppriate Technology Reserach Centre is in hopes of elevating the agricultural practices of Uganda’s industry and eventually go to address the rural issues and increase income levels. I have higher expectations for the research and advances that are made at this centre”, Hyun said.

Hyun said that Korea is now regarded as an IP powerhouse ranked 4th and 5th in the number of patent applications and PCT applications respectively. He added that this status was achieved because they used the opportunity to learn from other IP offices around the world.

He expressed KIPOs readiness to share their experiences and provide similar opportunities to other countries under the umbrella of IP Sharing such as projects dealing with appropriate technologies, brand developments, IP educational content and a variety of activities.

Hyun commended Makerere University for her successful partnership with Chonbuk University that culminated into cooperation in agricultural technology and exchange of faculty and students.

“It makes me happy to see such fruitful outcome from great efforts on both sides. In particular, as joint efforts involving IP and technology have the potential to bring about substantial advancements. We hope the opening of this research centre demonstrates that, “ Small things can make a big difference”, whether IP-utilized appropriate technology or IP education”, He stated.

The representative of the Korea Invention Promotion Association (KIPA) Kang Chel Hwang said strong partnership delivers success and therefore the ATR centre was no exception.

“It is an excellent display of cooperation between the Ugandan government, the Korean Government, Makerere University, Chonbuk University, KIPO and KIPA.

He expressed hope that Makerere University will successfully maintain the centre and pledge KIPAs committement to suppot the university.

Report compiled by:

Jane Anyango

Communication Officer,

College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES)


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