Minister of Agriculture spends 12 hours benchmarking Makerere University potential for collaboration to improve the agricultural sector.
On Friday 10th February,2017, the Hon. Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) and Kalungu East Member of Parliament Hon. Vincent Ssempijja and his team paid his first official visit to Makerere University College of Agricultural Sciences (CAES). The visit was initiated by the ministry. The Minister was particularly interested in visiting the Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo (MUARIK) and the Department of Food Technology and Human Nutrition in the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bioengineering.
The objectives of the visit were:
- Visit the facilities to get updated on training and learning infrastructure;
- Get acquainted with Research and Projects undertaken;
- Know challenges and emerging concerns affecting the college and;
- Exchange views/proposals to strengthen collaboration with MAAIF.
Hon. Vincent Ssempijja and his team spent a whole day at Makerere University from 8.00 am to 8.30 pm. He started at 8.00 am with a courtesy call on the Vice Chancellor Makerere University and later proceeded to MUARIK immediately and toured various facilities. The minister also shared breakfast with staff at Kabanyolo. He later held a meeting with staff at the Continuing Agricultural Education Centre (CAEC) after which they had lunch together.
At 3:30 pm the Minister, his steam and Makerere staff left MUARIK and headed forhis second part of thevisit at the Food Technology and Business Incubation Centre (FTBIC) in the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio Engineering. The team arrived at the FTBIC at 4pm. The Minister was conducted through the processing lines and later held the second discussion with staff and crowned the day with a cocktail. The Hon. Minister left at 8:30pm.
In both meetings at MUARIK and the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio engineering, it was agreed that:
- All college activities are guided by the need to ensure food security, increasing farmer incomes and exports/import substitution;
- Irrigation is demonstrated at MUARIK as a matter of urgency;
- The Biotechnology laboratory focuses on the 12 agro ecological zones and 12 priority commodities in the Agricultural Sector Strategic Plan (ASSP);
- The tissue culture lab claims up local cassava varieties from Cassava Brown Streak;
- All college research to target farmer and community needs;
- A joint committee is formed to push forward the above points and agenda and other important areas of mutual interest including value addition, MAAIF support to student internships, CAES engagement with extension services and others.
For details please click on this report.