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Makerere wins the AGRF Award 2012

Makerere University College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) has been recognised among leaders and visionaries in promoting a Green Revolution in Africa by The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Forum.

The University was on September 28, 2012 recognized as one of the best institutions for the commitment and excellence in areas of Academia & Research during AGRF Awards gala dinner in Arusha.  Others in this category were, The African Centre for Crop Improvement, at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa; and    Advocacy Organizations - Rural Urban Development Initiatives (RUDI), Tanzania.

                                                           Dr. Richard Edema Receives the Award from Koffi Anan in Arusha Tanzania

 

Dr. Richard Edema of the School of Agricultural Sciences received the award on behalf of Makerere University from chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan. Other representatives from Uganda were former minister of Agriculture, Kisamba Mugerwa, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Agriculture, Ugandan Ambassador Oliver Wonekha and representatives from the Plan for Modernisation of Agriculture (PMA).

Dr. Edema said AGRA has been funding agricultural programs that have led to the production and release of new crop varieties like soybean by Makerere University. “Africa suffers from well prepared scientists and used to send students abroad for training. The University is playing a good role by conducting trainings at Makerere and that is why it has been recognised.”  He said.

He said, Makerere has been getting grants from Bill Melinda gates, Rockefeller and others to train students in plant breeding across the region   to address the issue of food security and hunger. “The region is using Makerere as an institution with a lot of wealth and expertise to build agricultural research in their countries and the university has done it effectively” he added.

Dr. Richard Edema posing with certificate at the college after returning from Arusha

Since 2008, the School of Agricultural Sciences has had three cohorts of students trained in MSc. Plant Breeding.  The first group of 16 students came from Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan and Uganda in 2009. The second cohort of 19 students came from Rwanda, Mozambique, Tanzania, Southern Sudan, Kenya and Uganda. The recent group of 21 students came from Rwanda, Malawi, Tanzania, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.

The AGRF Awards recognize Africa's top leaders in the quest to create awareness of public/private initiatives to build a sustainable African agri-business industry inspire a Green Revolution in Africa and make Africa food and nutrition secure.

Uganda’s Joshua Kato of the New Vision Newspaper was also recognised for his commitment and excellence in media and journalism – Neema Agricole du Faso (Nafaso), Burkina Faso excelled in the category of Private Sector Organizations, while Faso Jigi of Mali won as an outstanding Farmer Organization among other awards.

Speaking during the function, AGRF President and Co –Chair Jane Karuku commended AGRA for inspiring  tremendous discussions and developing actionable plans  towards achieving food and nutrition security., “The international community is beginning to realize that the smallholder is an entrepreneur, and that farming is a business. It is critical that we move forward with these real, practical and pragmatic actions at the farmer-level, not at the office-level.” She said.

Presiding over the function, chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, said that farmers need the necessary support of the governments. "Our farmers are smart but they need support. They are planting bananas that need little irrigation. They are coping with climate change despite the huge challenges; they are applying the necessary dedication. Just give them more support.”

 The forum brought together African heads of state, ministers, farmers, private agribusiness firms, financial institutions, NGOs, civil society and scientists, to discuss the right way to scale up investments and innovation for sustainable agricultural growth and food security.

The AGRF action areas focused on four major themes: rethinking public-private partnerships, revolutionizing agricultural finance, making markets work, and building the foundations for rapid growth in agricultural productivity.

Dr. Namanga Ngongi Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

The AGRF Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dr. Namanga Ngongi for his contribution to the transformation of Africa's agricultural sector. Dr. Ngongi has had a diverse career in both agriculture and security, beginning in his native Cameroon, where he worked as an agricultural extension officer for the Ministry of Agriculture, helping farmers to improve yields and to diversify and market their crops.

Following this position, he served in a number of roles: he was attached to the Cameroon Embassy in Rome, served as Deputy Executive of the World Food Programme, and was appointed as Undersecretary-General and Special Representative and Head of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Dr. Ngongi was the first full-time President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), retiring in 2011.

YARA Prize 2012 Awarded to Female African Leaders
The highlight of the AGRF Gala Awards was the YARA Prize - the Grand Prix for outstanding contributions to enhancing agricultural growth and food security in Africa, and driving an African-led Green Revolution in Africa.

Yara International awarded the Yara Prize 2012 to Dr. Agnes Kalibata, Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources in Rwanda, and to Dr. Eleni Gabre-Madhin, outgoing CEO of the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) in Ethiopia. Dr. Kalibata and Dr. Gabre-Mahdin were awarded the Yara Prize for their work in ground-breaking areas for the African Green Revolution.

Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete and other participants during the Award ceremony

Dr. Kalibata was recognized for her outstanding leadership in the transformation of food security and agricultural development in Rwanda while Dr. Gabre-Mahdin was honoured for her remarkable stewardship of the transformation process toward an efficiently functioning market, especially for smallholder coffee producers in Ethiopia.

The forum brought together African heads of state, ministers, farmers, private agribusiness firms, financial institutions, NGOs, civil society and scientists, to discuss the right way to scale up investments and innovation for sustainable agricultural growth and food security.

The AGRF action areas focused on four major themes: rethinking public-private partnerships, revolutionizing agricultural finance, making markets work, and building the foundations for rapid growth in agricultural productivity.

 

 

 

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College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences - Makerere University

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Tel: +256-414-542277

Email: principal@caes.mak.ac.ug