The IGP impromptu visit to CAES; seeking expertise in mindset change and technologies to improve agricultural productivity for food security and job creation.
The Inspector General of Police Lt. General Kale Kayihura on Friday July 20, 2012 made an impromptu visit to Makerere University College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) to see what was taking place and discuss possible collaboration with Ugandan forces in various aspects.
CAES, the Uganda Police and Prisons services have drafted a Memorandum of Understanding for a tripartite partnership to help the forces improve on agricultural productivity for self sufficiency, start programs for mindset change and equip the youth with entrepreneurial skills to address the problem of unemployment.
Flanked by an official from South Sudan National chamber of commerce, Lt. General Kale Kayihura arrived at the college at 1: 20 pm and paid a courtesy call to the Principal’s office where he was received by Ag. Deputy Principal Prof. Frank Kansiime, who later led the team to the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio engineering.
He was walked through the Food Parlor where value added products are displayed and later toured the pilot plant – the Food Technology and Business Incubation centre (FTBIC) where products are manufactured before settling for a meeting.
Speaking during the meeting held in the school boardroom, Lt. Gen. Kale Kayihura expressed satisfaction with what he had seen in the school saying, he had not known that such work was taking place at the University.
“We were selling the move with limited scope but I am now convinced that the force can do better. This is the kind of transformation the force was looking at to impact on society”, He remarked.
He said that police has extensive land and would like to do extensive cultivation by looking at projects like crop and animal production, bakery and food vending saying, the idea was to help the force develop its human resource and other groups working with police to become more productive and self sufficient .
“The Uganda Police force would like to know how it can cooperate with the University to be helped. I advice the University to partner with the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) and the private sector to start investing in this process so that the forces can produce and eat their own food and even produce for the wider public.”
He said only two personnel had been brought to the FTBIC for training promising that there was a group summarizing proposals in Mbarara the force was planning to send to the centre .
He asked the college to reach out to the Police Logistics Department to see what they have in the store to start the process adding that there was ready market in Rwanda and Southern Sudan.
“I am also looking at poultry, piggery and dairy as viable enterprises the college would provide technical assistance to help police generate income and it would be good if the university can help police establish a production unit at the Police Training school so that once it takes off it wont require further financial input”. He added.
He described the ongoing program at the school’s FTBIC as favorable for South Sudan and introduced Mr. Benjamin Paul from South Sudan National Chamber of Commerce as a businessman who would like to cooperate with the university to increase food production in South Sudan prisons, Universities and partner with him to improve his business.
He tasked the college to write a proposal for an incubation line giving a range of equipment and costs and another proposal for a production line for Nile perch for South Sudan to be taken to Juba University. He also asked the college team to prepare for a travel to Yei to assess the business opportunities in Southern Sudan.
IGP Lt.Gen. Kale Kayihura tests some of the products from the FTBIC during the meeting
Ag. Deputy Principal Prof. Frank Kansiime, reported that in the previous meeting with the commissioner General Uganda prisons and police representatives held on July 6, 2012, it was agreed that the university and the force would start on the project of increasing food production. He pointed out that the college has a combine harvester the forces would utilize for harvesting.
“The college with its technical expertise would help the force with improved crop varieties and seedlings, allocate students for internship as extension workers so that as the force benefits from their labor and expertise, students get hands on experience on the farms”. Prof. Kansiime said.
He said another aspect was the need to change youth mindset by incubating communities to learn how to turn challenges into business opportunities and adopt new technologies instead of lamenting about poverty.
He expressed the college commitment to partner with the police as the best way of addressing national challenges such as food security and youth unemployment.
Dr. William Kyamuhangire and Deputy Principal During the meeting
Head Department of Agricultural Bio systems engineering, who is also in charge the FTBIC Dr. William Kyamuhangire, explained how the main stream and skills training incubation programs in the FTBIC are run, acquired equipment and successes achieved.
He said the school has incubated 12 enterprises and would want to have a quality map, expand the facility to increase enrolment and incubate young people to set up industries to serve the wider section of the population and employ many people. .
“The school is okay at laboratory level and has the technology but the only limiting factor was lack of equipment. We would also like to work with the force to purchase production line so that incase of disaster like the Bududa landslides, the force is well prepared to respond to emergencies by providing dry rations like biscuits and juices as government looks for relief food.’ Dr Kyamuhangire tabled.
He also said the school would like to work with the Ugandan forces to make students more practical and help the force be the lead producer of food as is the case in other countries.