MAK CAES Holds Field day to mark end of Recess Term


Horticultural students exhibiting  their products

Makerere University College of Agricultural and Environmental sciences on 12th August 2017 held the Kabanyolo Field day to mark the end of recess term activities semester II 2016/2017. The function was held at the university farm in Kabanyolo.

The purpose is for students to practice and demonstrate skills acquired in class.

The function was attended by Makerere University staffs, farmers from different parts, surrounding community members, NAADS officials and Uganda National Farmers Federation (UNFFE) representatives among others.

210 Undergraduate students undertaking BSc. Agriculture, BSc. Horticulture, Bachelor of Agricultural and Rural Innovations, BSc. Food Science and Technology underwent a 7 weeks competence based training to equip them with hands on skills ranging from production, management and entrepreneurship.

The students were dispatched for recess term activities in Kabanyolo on 26th June 2017 and ended on 12 August 2017.

They demonstrated different technologies in Horticulture including sterilization of soil for nursery gardens, principles of propagation (budding, grafting layering) and different ways of raising seedlings.


A student demonstrating grafting as one of the principals of propagation

In the Food Science stall, students explained and demonstrated the need to add value to agricultural produce, value added products and their health benefits, how to make different products both on industrial and local scale.


Food Science students show casing their products

Another group exhibited how to make Urea Blocks and Molasses for dairy farming while others focused on Silage and hay making.


Students explaining how hay and silage is made

Another group of students focused on the plant clinic to give farmers guidance on how to diagnose plant diseases and pests, lack of nutrients, bacterial infections among others.

The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences has been training students as plant doctors since 2013 in collaboration with the Plantwise Program of the Centre for Agriculture and BioSciences International (CABI) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (Uganda).

This year 167 students were trained from the B.Sc. Agriculture, B.Sc. Horticulture, B.Sc. Food Science and Technology; and Bachelor of Agriculture and Rural Innovation degree programs bringing the total number of plant doctors trained to 510.


Plant Doctors explaining to journalists the pests and diseases plus other plant deficience symptoms

The Recess Term Coordinator, Dr. Gabriel Karubanga, explained that the show was to exhibit to farmers and the neighboring communities what the students learnt during the seven weeks.

“This recess term is aimed at enhancing the practical skills of the students since while in class they do a lot of theoretical work and when we bring them to Kabanyolo, they gain hands on skills,” He said.

Dr. Karubanga said unlike the previous recess terms which take 10 weeks, this year it was shortened to 7 weeks due to the staff strike which paralysed the university activities at the last quarter of 2016.

“Students always learn and do a lot of practical’s within the ten weeks but this time, it was difficult to condense all the content in 7 weeks”, Dr. Karubanga said.


Dr. Gabriel Karubanga  extreme right interacting with students during the field day

He also highlighted other challenges including the high number of students vis avis instructors and accommodation facilities, feeding and transport challenges.

“The other challenge was the drought. Students were not able to prepare their nurseries. I recommend the university to set up an irrigation system which can help students irrigate during the dry season”, he requested.

Dr. Karubanga revealed that the university was emphasizing a new approach on pest and disease diagnosis which was allocated two a weeks training for students to be able to advise farmers or offer extension services.


Report compiled by;

Nankebe Agnes Nantambi,

Internee, Communication office, CAES.