US earmarks $150 million for Agriculture and Nutrition activities in Uganda, says Deputy Director USAID Mission
The United States Government has earmarked $150 million to support Uganda’s agriculture and nutrition activities in the next five years. Deputy Director USAID Mission John Mark said, US is making a major contribution towards improving food security in Uganda through President Obama’s Feed the Future (FTF) initiative.
Deputy Director USAID Mission John Mark presenting
John Mark was speaking during a one day CRSP in country meeting that was held on April 25, 2012 at Senate upper conference room Makerere University. The Meeting chaired by Ag Principal College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Prof Samuel Kyamanywa was attended by Makerere University Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs, other representatives of the USAID mission, line ministries, NGOs, staff and students and representatives of nine CRSP including IPM CRSP, Peanut CRSP, Dry Grain CRSP, SANREM CRSP, Horticulture CRSP, Aqua Fish CRSP and Asset Market Access CRSP.
The meeting was a result of the call that was made by the Mission Director for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) - David Eckerson at an annual general meeting of the Council of Directors for all Collaborative Research Support Programs (CRSP) which was held in Uganda in July, 2011.
John Mark hailed participants for the positive response and involvement in the CRSP work and commitment to sharing lessons learnt and identifying areas of continued collaboration. He encouraged the CRSP community to further strengthen their partnerships with other implementing partners like NARO, Harvest plus, program for Bio safety systems and enhance impact of their activities pledging US government support to enhance agricultural productivity.
“Over the next five years $ 150 million will be spent on agriculture and nutrition activities that support the implementation of Uganda’s agricultural development strategy and Investment Plan (DSIP). This includes a $19 million commitment to agricultural research” He said.
He underscored the relevance of CRSPS work to the Feed the Future Initiative given that most activities are aimed at increasing agricultural productivity, enhancing access to markets, ensuring nutritional security and effective utilization of agricultural commodities and natural resources through value addition. He appealed to Makerere staff to instill the spirit of giving back to society and willingness to go and serve the rural populations and underprivileged communities in students.
Ag Principal College of Agricultural and Environmental Science, Prof. Samuel Kyamanywa said CRSP recognizes the fact that the country is faced with problems of low literacy levels, limited access to support services, inadequate and poor linkage between universities and research systems. He said CRSP collaboration is a kind of friendship bringing people together to find a long term solution.
Ag. Principal CAES Prof. Samuel Kyamanywa speaking during the meeting
Different CRSP representative’s presented their project achievements and challenges and later in groups brainstormed on challenges and the way forward on how the targeted end users can access developed technologies to improve their livelihoods.
The strategies were coined around thematic areas including making technological knowledge available to the farmers, innovative communication and dissemination strategies, strengthening collaboration among CRSP, follow ups and sustainability of interventions, technology and knowledge testing and validation, strengthening research infrastructure and human resource capacity building.
Participants agreed that there was need to create platform for sharing and documenting CRSP out put and their impacts to ease information access to guide the process of scaling up the technologies. A strategy for in-house human resource capacity building and improvement of the research infrastructure was seen as necessary including another strategy for partnerships with the private sector for purposes of commercializing and dissemination technologies developed.
Participants also agreed on the need to set up an agribusiness incubation centre for CRSP projects and also to initiate dialogue with policy makers to make them aware of the technologies available so as to influence policy making. Dr Prossy Isibakulu was nominated to work with national coordinators to spearhead the process.
In his closing remarks, Prof Samuel Kyamanywa thanked the US mission for support given to different programmes and organizing the meeting. He urged participants not to look at each other as competitors but look out areas for synergies and complementation to solve problems in Uganda.
Speaking on behalf of Deputy Director USAID mission Simon Byabagambi pledged US continued collaboration and support towards capacity building.